pho·​tic | \ ˈfō-tik How to pronounce photic (audio) \

Definition of photic

1 : of, relating to, or involving light especially in relation to organisms
2 : penetrated by light especially of the sun the photic zone of the ocean

Other Words from photic

photically \ ˈfō-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce photic (audio) \ adverb

Examples of photic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web More than 35% of us sneeze when suddenly exposed to a bright light, according to Scientific American — a phenomenon that's commonly known as photic sneeze reflex, or ACHOO (Autosomal Compelling Helio-Ophthalmic Outburst). Zee Krstic, Good Housekeeping, 10 Feb. 2020 Each time the whale shark came up to the photic zone to trawl for plankton, the bob would rise to the surface and (with luck) be detected by one of a network of orbiting satellites. Ryan P. Smith, Smithsonian, 8 May 2018 Most such solar, or photic, retinopathy is temporary, manifesting as spots in the visual field—like after a camera flashes in your eyes. James Hamblin, The Atlantic, 21 Aug. 2017

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

1843, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Learn More About photic

Dictionary Entries Near photic




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for photic

Cite this Entry

“Photic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Dec. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for photic


pho·​tic | \ ˈfōt-ik How to pronounce photic (audio) \

Medical Definition of photic

: of, relating to, or involving light especially in relation to organisms photic stimulation

Other Words from photic

photically \ ˈfōt-​i-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce photic (audio) \ adverb


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something 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!