li·​dar | \ ˈlī-ˌdär \

Definition of lidar

: a device that is similar in operation to radar but emits pulsed laser light instead of microwaves

Examples of lidar in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

With help from lidar, automakers can hopefully develop ADAS systems that will slam on the brakes when a car is about to run into a large, stationary object. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "The hype around driverless cars came crashing down in 2018," 30 Dec. 2018 Miller quit his job at Uber in March 2018 and went on to lidar startup Luminar. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Uber manager in March: “We shouldn’t be hitting things every 15,000 miles”," 11 Dec. 2018 Photo: National Transportation Safety Board Self-driving cars generally rely on the lidar detection system, whose lasers can be foiled by inclement weather. Christopher Mims, WSJ, "Driverless Hype Collides With Merciless Reality," 13 Sep. 2018 General Motors bought a lidar startup called Strobe. Alex Davies, WIRED, "BMW's Self-Driving Cars Get Their Lasers," 26 Apr. 2018 But is a combination of lidar and camera truly redundant, if both are relying on reflected light? Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "This military tech could finally help self-driving cars master snow," 21 Aug. 2018 But the performance of the lidar and radar sensors in the self-driving system is not affected by lighting conditions, according to industry experts. Pete Bigelow, Car and Driver, "Video of Fatal Uber Crash Reveals Shortcomings of Human and Automated Driving," 22 Mar. 2018 Ouster's lidar is unlike any others on the market today. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Why millions of lasers on a chip could be the future of lidar," 8 Nov. 2018 Sign up for our daily newsletter and never miss our latest and greatest stories Transportation Also known as the spinning thing atop self-driving cars, lidar is the technology that could unlock autonomy for everybody. Nick Stockton, WIRED, "Laser-Shooting Planes Uncover the Horror and Humanity of World War I," 9 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lidar.' 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 lidar

1963, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for lidar

light + radar

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about lidar

Dictionary Entries near lidar


licury wax



lid cell


Liddell Hart

Statistics for lidar

Last Updated

6 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for lidar

The first known use of lidar was in 1963

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on lidar

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lidar

Comments on lidar

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


to deny responsibility for

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!