noun, often attributive
la·​ser | \ ˈlā-zər How to pronounce laser (audio) \

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

Mikhail Lukin’s group at Harvard is making a quantum computer out rubidium atoms controlled with laser light, not photons as the article originally stated. Quanta Magazine, "Quantum Supremacy Is Coming: Here’s What You Should Know," 18 July 2019 Orlando Science Center will start keeping late-night hours and add special activities, including stargazing, laser-light shows and hands-on programming in The Hive: A Makerspace. Dewayne Bevil,, "Orlando Science Center: Stargazing, DIY mouse-ear headband sessions set for late-night event," 2 July 2019 Jackson's voice, which once contained all of his complicated humanity in a beam of laser light, now had to carry all of his inhumanity, too. Chris Richards,, "Commentary: Hearing a Michael Jackson song still feels good; listening has become too painful.," 25 June 2019 Unlike additive manufacturing, which builds up material layer by layer, subtractive manufacturing allows users to place their material (wood, leather, acrylic, stone, etc.) into the machine and carve out or engrave the product using laser light. Andrea Leinfelder, Houston Chronicle, "WeWork pilots 3D printing in Houston," 20 June 2019 Meanwhile, a wave of Instagram-friendly clinics like Alchemy 43, Kate Somerville, and Skin Laundry have popularized medical beauty treatments, including services like Botox, fillers, lip injections, and laser treatments, for the under-30 crowd. Sangeeta Singh-kurtz, Quartzy, "Plastic surgery clients are getting younger—and doctors say selfies are to blame," 18 June 2019 Henry underwent laser treatment and dry needling to break up the scar tissue, and within minutes the nerve was firing correctly again, Jeff Henry said. Brody Miller,, "LSU freshman Cole Henry left super regional with nerve issue, expected to be ready by fall," 11 June 2019 Up front, things get a little more wild, with narrow slot headlights sitting atop a giant grinning grille that seems to open into a deep blackness pierced with laser lights. Jack Stewart, WIRED, "Byton's K-Byte Electric Concept Makes Self-Driving Look Good," 12 June 2018 The dance pavilion will still be bumping into the night, confetti cannons and laser lights included. Lainey Seyler, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "PrideFest Milwaukee is more than just rainbows and fireworks," 23 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Schneider’s illustrations carry the dynamic action of a comic book as Ultrabot lasers a cat on the moon and lets Becky zoom over the neighborhood in his airplane. Jennifer Day,, "Parents already love ‘The Rabbit Listened.’ How’s the author’s follow-up?," 24 June 2019 The ball found the back of the net without being touched, lasering through a tangle of legs and bodies, nutmegging French captain Amandine Henry and getting past French goalie Sarah Bouhaddi to give the U.S. team a 1-0 lead. Ann Killion,, "World Cup statement by Rapinoe and US women heard loud and clear," 28 June 2019 And there was the option of lasering away dilated blood vessels. Alice Gregory, Allure, "I Got Fillers for My Chronic Undereye Circles, and the Results Were Impressive," 28 Apr. 2019 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

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

4 Aug 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 How to pronounce laser (audio) \

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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