pho·​tic ˈfō-tik How to pronounce photic (audio)
: of, relating to, or involving light especially in relation to organisms
: penetrated by light especially of the sun
the photic zone of the ocean
photically adverb

Examples of photic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web And that’s because of the sheer scale of the water column, the vast expanse extending from the bottom edge of the photic zone to the seafloor. Jeffrey Marlow, Discover Magazine, 18 July 2016 Called photic sneeze reflex, this reaction is somewhat of a mystery. Rebecca Strong,, 17 Feb. 2022 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 examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'photic.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1843, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of photic was in 1843

Dictionary Entries Near photic

Cite this Entry

“Photic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jul. 2024.

Medical Definition


pho·​tic ˈfōt-ik How to pronounce photic (audio)
: of, relating to, or involving light especially in relation to organisms
photic stimulation
photically adverb
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