prism

noun
\ ˈpri-zəm How to pronounce prism (audio) \

Definition of prism

1 : a polyhedron with two polygonal faces lying in parallel planes and with the other faces parallelograms
2a : a transparent body that is bounded in part by two nonparallel plane faces and is used to refract or disperse a beam of light
b : a prism-shaped decorative glass luster
3 : a crystal form whose faces are parallel to one axis especially : one whose faces are parallel to the vertical axis
4 : a medium that distorts, slants, or colors whatever is viewed through it

Examples of prism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In her new piece, Ms Xiao is trapped in a perspex prism, up to her ankles in blood-red liquid. The Economist, "The art of protest in Hong Kong," 26 Sep. 2019 The Ukraine scandal is mostly viewed through the prism of politics — an attempt by President Donald Trump to gain an advantage over a political opponent. Katie Zavadski, ProPublica, "Follow the Money in the Ukraine Scandal," 13 Nov. 2019 Even though the Cold War is over, America still sees Ukraine through the prism of Russia. Miriam Berger, Washington Post, "The U.S. relationship with Ukraine runs deep. Here’s why.," 12 Nov. 2019 While there are a thousand ways to describe how far Florida State has fallen in the last three years, one is through the prism of the rivalry with Miami. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, "Week 10 observations: Pac-12 still has chance at Playoff thanks to Oregon and Utah," 3 Nov. 2019 The case should be viewed through the prism of mental illness. George Houde, chicagotribune.com, "Palatine man pleads not guilty to terrorism charge in Woodfield Mall crash. ‘Case should be viewed through the prism of mental illness,’ his lawyer says.," 31 Oct. 2019 Each brief chapter is refracted through the prism of familiar pop culture touchstones: bad romance as soap opera, as stoner comedy, as déjà vu. David Canfield, EW.com, "These searing new memoirs sharply explore toxic, intimate relationships," 25 Oct. 2019 This time, many people will view the impeachment hearings through the prism of media outlets aligned with one or another ideology. Marc Fisher, Anchorage Daily News, "Analysis: How the decline of trust shaped Trump, Nixon and Clinton’s endgames," 13 Nov. 2019 The art consists of 25 rotating prisms that reflect light from projectors at their bases. Anne Nickoloff, cleveland, "8 things to do in Cleveland on Sunday, Nov. 10," 10 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'prism.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of prism

1570, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for prism

Late Latin prismat-, prisma, from Greek, literally, anything sawn, from priein to saw

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Time Traveler for prism

Time Traveler

The first known use of prism was in 1570

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Statistics for prism

Last Updated

30 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Prism.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/prism. Accessed 27 January 2020.

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More Definitions for prism

prism

noun
How to pronounce prism (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of prism

: a transparent glass or plastic object that usually has three sides and that separates the light that passes through it into different colors

prism

noun
\ ˈpri-zəm How to pronounce prism (audio) \

Kids Definition of prism

: a transparent object that usually has three sides and bends light so that it breaks up into rainbow colors

prism

noun
\ ˈpriz-əm How to pronounce prism (audio) \

Medical Definition of prism

1 : a polyhedron with two polygonal faces lying in parallel planes and with the other faces parallelograms
2 : a transparent body that is bounded in part by two nonparallel plane faces and is used to refract or disperse a beam of light
3 : a crystal form whose faces are parallel to one axis especially : one whose faces are parallel to the vertical axis

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More from Merriam-Webster on prism

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with prism

Spanish Central: Translation of prism

Nglish: Translation of prism for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about prism

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