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

For the festival’s big 50th anniversary celebration last year, organizers signed popular 2000s pop punk band Bowling For Soup and brought in a laser light show. Don Stacom,, "Spin Doctors will perform at Southington’s Apple Harvest Festival this fall, as event organizers aim to draw young people, larger crowds," 21 Aug. 2019 Phish though remained laser focused across Friday’s two-set, three-hour show. Piet Levy, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Review: Phish and their fans return to their natural habitat for Alpine Valley Music Theatre residency," 13 July 2019 Bistrot du Coin is a traditional hotspot, known for its free late-night parties fueled by DJs, Bastille whiskey cocktails and a laser light show. Washington Post, "17 things to do in the D.C. area this weekend," 11 July 2019 And instead of fireworks, Aspen has decided to have a drone show, and Glenwood Springs will be hosting a laser show. Carina Julig, The Denver Post, "Colorado firework laws: What you need to know to keep you and your pets safe on Fourth of July," 27 June 2019 Some of its inventions have included, according to Holman, a portable refrigerator for preserving medicines and vaccines in transport, an automatic microscope for testing blood samples, and a malarial mosquito-exterminating laser light show. Robert Hackett, Fortune, "How to Avoid Winding Up As Pets for A.I. Robots," 12 June 2019 But even amid the newfangled pyrotechnics, Dolce & Gabbana’s presentations for its Alta Moda collections stand out like a laser show at a funeral. Horacio Silva, Town & Country, "The Experience Wars: Inside the Furious Fight for the Affections (and Dollars) of the World's Biggest Spenders," 20 Sep. 2018 The data collection involves numerous instruments on towers of varying heights, lasers, drones, weather balloons and low-flying aircraft. USA TODAY, "Record grapefruit, light rail win, Snake Road: News from around our 50 states," 29 Aug. 2019 That's actually a laser, and the sensor's engineering secrets have been at the heart of a bitter war between Google and Uber's self-driving outfits for nearly three years. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "Who Owns Lidar?," 28 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Roger Federer flying into a forehand, his gaze lasered on the point of contact. Louisa Thomas, The New Yorker, "Félix Auger-Aliassime Is Trying to Stay Calm," 24 Aug. 2019 The last time American antitrust regulators lasered in on a big tech company — Microsoft, two decades ago — Silicon Valley cheered. Owen Thomas,, "With Washington watching, will Facebook and Google keep buying startups?," 14 Aug. 2019 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about laser

Statistics for laser

Last Updated

15 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for laser

The first known use of laser was in 1957

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

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).


recurring in steady succession

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Bee Cubed

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!