pho·​to·​re·​cep·​tor ˌfō-tō-ri-ˈsep-tər How to pronounce photoreceptor (audio)
: a receptor for light stimuli

Examples of photoreceptor in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web If it's degraded... the photoreceptors in the back of the eye could be lost forever. Cara Lynn Shultz, Peoplemag, 8 Apr. 2024 In addition to using ions to modulate the electrical behavior of the device, the response to light is intensity dependent, much like biological photoreceptors. IEEE Spectrum, 10 Nov. 2023 Retinitis pigmentosa is a debilitating disease that causes the death of photoreceptor cells and leads to vision loss. William A. Haseltine, Forbes, 28 Feb. 2024 Animals use eyes — a complex organ of lenses and photoreceptors — to gain a detailed picture of the world around them, including the direction of light. Quanta Magazine, 31 Jan. 2024 Per Hanley and his co-authors, different animal species possess unique sets of photoreceptors that are sensitive to a wide range of wavelengths, from ultraviolet to the infrared, dependent on each animal's specific ecological needs. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 23 Jan. 2024 Its job is to catch errant photons which photoreceptors didn’t manage to absorb the first time, reflecting those light particles back onto the retina a second time. Katie Liu, Discover Magazine, 26 Oct. 2023 University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign/Science Advances While this CMOS sensor arrangement does mimic the partial UV sensitivity of the layered photoreceptor cells in xuthus’ eyes, the real magic in the UIUC chip comes from a layer of perovskite crystal deposited on the sensor’s surface. IEEE Spectrum, 24 Nov. 2023 The photoreceptors appear to be responsive to light in preliminary tests. Tanya Lewis, Scientific American, 9 Nov. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'photoreceptor.' 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

1906, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of photoreceptor was in 1906

Dictionary Entries Near photoreceptor

Cite this Entry

“Photoreceptor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 May. 2024.

Medical Definition


pho·​to·​re·​cep·​tor -ˈsep-tər How to pronounce photoreceptor (audio)
: a receptor for light stimuli

More from Merriam-Webster on photoreceptor

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