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

He’s profiled fibropapillomatosis tumor tissue that’s been surgically removed by laser resection as part of rehabilitation. Jessica Alice Farrell, Smithsonian, "Should We Share Human Cancer Treatments With Tumorous Turtles?," 11 July 2018 Ansel Johnson is laser-focused on combating diabetes. Francine Knowles, Daily Southtown, "Knowles: Southland optometrist focuses on fighting diabetes," 3 July 2018 Too bad the nation won’t be laser-focused on all 35 of the Senate seats soon in play instead of just those four Republicans. Michael Smerconish,, "The frustrating timing of Anthony Kennedy's retirement | Michael Smerconish," 3 July 2018 With most of the NBA community laser-focused on potential landing spots for LeBron James and Paul George, the Orlando Magic found themselves far off of most people’s radar when free agency opened at 12:01 a.m. this morning. Josh Robbins,, "Keeping Aaron Gordon, finding point guard help top Magic’s free agency wish list," 1 July 2018 And with the government laser-focused on developing oil and gas, the province’s famous verdant farmlands have been devastated, even as Basrawis, as the people of Basra are known, have little to show for it. Nabih Bulos,, "Basra was once a jewel of a city. Now it's a symbol what's wrong in Iraq," 17 June 2018 Stone was laser-focused on making the funeral homes a success. Nancy Badertscher, ajc, "Juanita S. Stone, 89: Teacher, funeral director served community," 9 June 2018 While some large national sitter sites do have a check box for those willing to work with children with special needs, no other site is as laser-focused on providing caregivers for special needs children, Maher said. Shari Rudavsky, Indianapolis Star, "Indy mom's website helps match skilled sitters with parents of special needs children," 8 June 2018 And regardless, being a professional e-sports player requires the discipline to remain laser-focused on your screen until the end, which makes your physical self a profoundly unexciting sight. Vlad Savov, The Verge, "Going to an e-sport event is like traveling back to the time when people followed sports for the sport," 30 May 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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Learn More about laser

Phrases Related to laser

laser beam

Statistics for laser

Last Updated

1 Sep 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 magnificent or impressive array

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