noun, often attributive
la·​ser | \ ˈlā-zər \

Definition of laser

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a device that utilizes the natural oscillations of atoms or molecules between energy levels for generating a beam of coherent electromagnetic radiation usually in the ultraviolet, visible, or infrared regions of the spectrum also : the beam of coherent radiation itself The cesium fluoresced. This told them they had the necessary population of excited atoms to produce a laser. — Nick Taylor
2 : something resembling a laser beam in accuracy, speed, or intensity threw a laser into the end zone a laser stare


lasered; lasering; lasers

Definition of laser (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to subject to the action of a laser : treat with a laser

Examples of laser in a Sentence


doctors using a laser to perform delicate eye surgery

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

TuSimple is part of a stable of startups seeking to automate parts of long-haul and parcel transport with self-driving technology that uses artificial intelligence, laser sensors and cameras to navigate roads. Jennifer Smith, WSJ, "Self-Driving Truck Tech Startup TuSimple Raises $95 Million in New Funding," 13 Feb. 2019 The Dazer Lazer is a green laser that emits a flashing light. David Hambling, Popular Mechanics, "The Long, Weird History of Strobe Weapons," 11 Feb. 2019 Chang suggests treatment options that include silicone gel, steroid injections, and lasers. Audrey Noble, Harper's BAZAAR, "How To Get Rid of Acne Scars—Forever," 21 Jan. 2019 Producer Alexandre de Betak used a laser to create a tunnel-like effect and add sparkle to the presentation’s fake precipitation. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, "“Beautifully Iced Maidens” Walked Through a Snowstorm at John Galliano’s Fall 2009 Show," 26 Dec. 2018 In the mid-2010s, the Air Force announced plans to put a laser weapon in the Stinger II’s cousin, the AC-130J. Those plans have slowed due to funding issues but the program is still in the service’s sights. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Watch a AC-130 Gunship Devastate Targets on the Ground with Its Howitzer," 16 Jan. 2019 This means that—like the label of your favorite artisanal coffee bag—the diamond’s provenance will be listed directly next to the stone in stores, and a unique serial number, invisible to the naked eye, will be laser-etched on the gem’s surface. Olivia Martin, Town & Country, "New Year, New Jewels: Tiffany & Co. Commits to Geographic Transparency for all its Diamonds," 9 Jan. 2019 On its surface, lasers look like the ideal way to counter drone weapons. David Hambling, Popular Mechanics, "What Are Airports Going to Do About Drones?," 9 Jan. 2019 The deans stacked their team with experts in tunneling, resiliency from natural disasters, electrical systems and fiber-optic and laser technology that could monitor the tunnel after the work is complete. Paul Berger, WSJ, "How Engineers Working Pro Bono Solved New York’s Toughest Subway Problem," 6 Jan. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Noses can be changed, and stomachs can be tightened, and cellulite can be lasered away, apparently. Glamour, "If You've Ever Struggled With Body Image, Lili Reinhart Has a Message for You," 11 Nov. 2018 Lasers Fraxel lasering resurfaces your face for smoother, brighter, non-wrinkled skin. Chloe Metzger, Marie Claire, "The Only 4 Ways to Get Rid of Fine Lines Around Your Eyes," 18 July 2018 Stefani spent the near two-hour runtime reviving songs from her past with a fresh twist, energy on tilt and focus lasered. Steven J. Horowitz, Billboard, "Gwen Stefani Brings No Doubt and Solo Hits to Life at Energizing Las Vegas Debut," 28 June 2018 Then there's Skin Laundry, a global chain with locations in Los Angeles, London, and Hong Kong, which lasers your face clean in 15 minutes—something my crammed schedule appreciates. Garrett Munce, GQ, "I Got a Facial and Now I'm a Golden God," 8 Apr. 2018 Louisville basketball's Myisha Hines-Allen selected 19th in WNBA draft Shannon Hall INDIANAPOLIS — The pass was lasered right to Myisha Hines-Allen, but too fast for the rookie to handle. Danielle Lerner, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville basketball could have another breakout rookie in the pros," 25 May 2018 The women, weaponized in power heels, stand equally vertical, meeting the men laser eye to laser eye. James Wolcott, HWD, "Confessions of a Suits Fan: Why the Legal Drama That Launched Meghan Markle Works," 27 Apr. 2018 Satellite dishes mark the main gate of Fort Gordon, eggshell white and lasering up at the moon. Matt Gallagher, WIRED, "Army of 01101111: The Making of a Cyber Battalion," 27 Mar. 2018 Missouri’s first touchdown came when Lock lasered the ball to J’Mon Moore along the left sideline midway through the second quarter. Aaron Reiss, kansascity, "Missouri QB Drew Lock, offense put up some impressive numbers in loss to Kentucky," 7 Oct. 2017

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

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First Known Use of laser


1957, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1978, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for laser


light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation

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Statistics for laser

Last Updated

17 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for laser

The first known use of laser was in 1957

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More Definitions for laser



English Language Learners Definition of laser

: a device that produces a narrow and powerful beam of light that has many special uses in medicine, industry, etc.


la·​ser | \ ˈlā-zər \

Kids Definition of laser

: a device that produces a very powerful beam of light


la·​ser | \ ˈlā-zər\

Medical Definition of laser

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a device that utilizes the natural oscillations of atoms or molecules between energy levels for generating coherent electromagnetic radiation usually in the ultraviolet, visible, or infrared regions of the spectrum

Medical Definition of laser (Entry 2 of 2)

: to subject to the action of a laser : treat with a laser cutting a corneal flap to remove tissue and then lasering the area under it— Jenny Manzer

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More from Merriam-Webster on laser

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with laser

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for laser

Spanish Central: Translation of laser

Nglish: Translation of laser for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of laser for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about laser

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esteemed in general opinion

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