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

The medley also got an expert laser and neon treatment, and at the end of the mini set, a quick routine to a Missy Elliot trio that could have been a full segment unto itself. Cara Kelly, USA TODAY, "Britney Spears is back on tour and you better believe she's here to work," 13 July 2018 Using a laser temperature gun last week, KSHB said the surface of the slide clocked in at around 150 degrees Fahrenheit in the sun. Jennifer Earl, Fox News, "Missouri mom warns about danger of hot slides after girl, 4, suffers second-degree burns," 3 July 2018 The space includes eight state-of-the-art rooms, an I.V. infusion suite, nutritional consultations, two types of cryotherapy, collagen beds, as well as various laser and other related devices. Sunhee Grinnell, Vanities, "A Wellness Destination in New York, Brought to You by NYDG," 29 June 2018 American pilots flying over the East China Sea have been targeted by lasers at least 20 times in recent months, The Wall Street Journal reported last week, mirroring tactics used by China near the American base in Djibouti. New York Times, "China Won’t Yield ‘Even One Inch’ of South China Sea, Xi Tells Mattis," 27 June 2018 Using laser light sensors from aircraft, Redwoods League surveyors counted 319 trees taller than 250 feet and climbed five of the biggest. Peter Fimrite,, "Family’s legendary grove of old-growth redwoods preserved," 26 June 2018 The second, Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat-2), is slated to fly later this year and will use lasers and other instruments to measure Earth's surface elevation. Alex Stuckey, Houston Chronicle, "NASA researchers: Arctic ice loss has tripled since 2012," 22 June 2018 Today, speculators like Miklos equip themselves with everything from sophisticated magnetometers to underwater lasers and night-vision goggles. Kathryn Miles, Outside Online, "'Cooper's Treasure' and the Gray Area of Wreck Hunting," 21 June 2018 Previous technology plans since the 1990s have targeted even broader areas including nuclear power, genetics, deep sea equipment, satellites and lasers. Joe Mcdonald,, "TVs, robots, soybeans on front lines of U.S.-China trade spat," 15 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 Two plays later, facing third and 18, Mahomes lasered a pass toward the left sideline that was both nearly a spectacular completion to Seantavius Jones and perhaps a step from being a pick-six for defensive back Kalan Reed. Vahe Gregorian, kansascity, "Next step in Mahomes’ development: Break glass only in case of emergency," 31 Aug. 2017 Four days later, Darvish debuted in his new team’s gray and blue road uniforms, lasering fastballs and looping curves for seven shutout innings. Robert O'connell, The Atlantic, "The Dodgers Aim for History—and a Championship," 9 Aug. 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

10 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

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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Comments on laser

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


a private place of worship

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