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

Researchers at the University of Seville ran a computer simulation to determine what the most efficient shape would be, and their simulation settled on a strange prism-like shape. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Discover a New Shape That Might Be Inside You Right Now," 30 July 2018 The striking 8,000-square-foot main house was commissioned by Garner in the 1990s and designed by architect Hugh Newell Jacobsen, known for his use of pyramid and prism shapes. Lauren Beale, latimes.com, "Wide-open spread for sale in Los Olivos was once James Garner territory," 2 Apr. 2018 Le Méridien Columbus, The Joseph Made up of four rectangular prisms stacked on top of each other, the modern architecture of Le Méridien Columbus, The Joseph sets the tone for the creative environs inside. Allie Weiss, ELLE Decor, "5 Midcentury-Modern Landmarks You Need to See in the Midwest," 6 Dec. 2018 At sundown, the lightkeeper would light the oil lamp inside the first-order Fresnal lens, which would then be rotated by a brass clockwork mechanism, sending a beam of more than 1,000 prisms out to the sea. USA TODAY, "14 must-visit lighthouses around the USA," 13 June 2018 This Corsair case is on the smaller side—more of a cube than a tall-and-wide rectangular prism like most PC towers. Brendan Nystedt, WIRED, "Want to Learn More About Computers? Try Building Your Own PC," 4 Apr. 2018 Even the lettering plays with color and shades, glittering and shimmering like (of course) a prism's like on an alien world. Will Nevin, OregonLive.com, "TBT #30: Colors, elements and franchises collide in new comics," 7 Mar. 2018 Which is precisely how Prior views his heart attack—not through a personal prism, but framed within the context of adversity overcome by the team. Alex Prewitt, SI.com, "Vegas Goalie Coach Dave Prior Is Lucky to Be Alive and Still Chasing His First Stanley Cup," 31 May 2018 But other world leaders see events through a prism of their own assumptions about how foreign governments are predisposed to behave. James H. Lebovic, Washington Post, "Will toughness on Iran help Trump with North Korea? Here are three reasons to doubt it.," 21 May 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near prism

prise

prisere

prisiadka

prism

prismal

prismatic

prismatical

Statistics for prism

Last Updated

22 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for prism

The first known use of prism was in 1570

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More Definitions for prism

prism

noun

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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