optically active

adjective

Definition of optically active

: capable of rotating the plane of vibration of polarized light to the right or left used of compounds, molecules, or atoms

First Known Use of optically active

1858

in the meaning defined above

See Words from the same year
NEW! Time Traveler

Medical Dictionary

optically active

adjective

medical Definition of optically active

: capable of rotating the plane of vibration of polarized light to the right or left : either dextrorotatory or levorotatory used of compounds, molecules, or atoms

Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

a lighting electrician on a movie set

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Eponym Quiz

  • rubens-painting
  • Which is the best synonym of bowdlerize?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!