crys·​tal·​log·​ra·​phy | \ ˌkri-stə-ˈlä-grə-fē \

Definition of crystallography

: a science that deals with the forms and structures of crystals

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from crystallography

crystallographer \ ˌkri-​stə-​ˈlä-​grə-​fər \ noun

Examples of crystallography in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Bragg shared the 1915 Nobel Prize in Physics with his father, William Henry Bragg, for x-ray crystallography. Daniel C. Schlenoff, Scientific American, "“Foul Treachery” of Trotsky and Lenin in 1918; Phineas Gage’s Brain in 1868," 13 July 2018 Rosalind Franklin unlocked the secrets of DNA’s double helix structure courtesy of her work on X-ray crystallography. Brian Keating, WIRED, "There's Nothing Noble about Science’s Nobel Prize Gender Gap," 27 May 2018 That landmark discovery, made possible by the x-ray crystallography work of Rosalind Franklin and Maurice Wilkins, put Francis Crick and James Watson at the forefront of the burgeoning field of molecular biology. National Geographic, "How We've Tackled the Evolving Science of DNA," 25 Apr. 2018 The technique, called crystallography, was a bit like making a shadow animal on the wall with one’s hand and a flashlight. Clifton Leaf, Fortune, "Brainstorm Health: Science and International Women's Day, Cigna-Express Scripts, IBM Watson and Mayo Clinic," 9 Mar. 2018 The scattering can be used to create imagery of these materials in much the same way that X-ray crystallography reveals the structure of complex molecules. Tim Lougheed, Science | AAAS, "Canada’s neutron scientists lament closure of world’s oldest nuclear reactor," 21 Sep. 2017 Experimental and analytical sciences—genetics, biochemistry, crystallography, and eventually molecular biology—made natural history seem old fashioned. Steven Lubar, Smithsonian, "A Scholar Follows a Trail of Dead Mice and Discovers a Lesson in Why Museum Collections Matter," 10 Aug. 2017 Imaging molecules For years, understanding the structure of a complex molecule like a protein or RNA involved a technique called X-ray crystallography. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Algorithm designer among those honored with the Chemistry Nobel," 5 Oct. 2017 Other teams had designed x-ray crystallography to image tiny structures, but the process did not work with many living structures. Maggie Fox, NBC News, "Nobel Prize for Chemistry Goes to Inventors of Imaging Technique," 4 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'crystallography.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of crystallography

1784, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for crystallography

crystallo- + -graphy (after French cristallographie or New Latin crystallographia)

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about crystallography

Share crystallography

Statistics for crystallography

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for crystallography

The first known use of crystallography was in 1784

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for crystallography


crys·​tal·​log·​ra·​phy | \ ˌkris-tə-ˈläg-rə-fē \
plural crystallographies

Medical Definition of crystallography

: a science that deals with the forms and structures of crystals — see x-ray crystallography

Other Words from crystallography

crystallographer \ -​fər \ noun
crystallographic \ -​lə-​ˈgraf-​ik \ adjective
crystallographically \ -​ik(ə-​)lē \ adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on crystallography Encyclopedia article about crystallography

Comments on crystallography

What made you want to look up crystallography? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to express emotion in a dramatic way

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!