prism

noun
\ ˈpri-zəm \

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

Similar in design to a telescope, the spectroscope worked like a super-powered prism, dispersing light into measurable wavelengths. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "Nuggets from the passing parade," 17 Aug. 2018 No pigment is involved; its special glossy finish, enabled by nanotechnology, refracts light, like a prism. Judith H. Dobrzynski, WSJ, "‘Saturated: The Allure and Science of Color’ Review: Vibrant From Any Angle," 26 May 2018 Each water droplet behaves like a small prism, refracting the light and reflecting it back to our eyes. Megan Arnett, Scientific American, "Make Your Own Rainbow," 26 Apr. 2018 For the most part, hair is left untouched, except for a tiny section, which is dyed to look like a prism. Erika Stalder, refinery29.com, ""Baby Rainbow" Hair Is The Coolest Festival Trend We've Seen," 22 Mar. 2018 Instead, Mouret has chosen to honestly see his past through the prism of the present. Mark Holgate, Vogue, "Roland Mouret’s New Book About His Life and Work Brings His Past Right Here Into the Present," 6 Nov. 2018 The State Department also appears to have evaluated the export controls on small caliber firearms only through the prism of whether restricting foreign access would provide the United States with a military or intelligence advantage. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "Judge allows temporary ban on 3D-printed gun files to continue," 27 Aug. 2018 Europeans still tend to view China—and Asia more broadly—through the prism of trade and investment. Jamie Fly, WSJ, "A Deal for Trump and Juncker," 24 July 2018 So, there’s something about having the prism of 1987. Eric Johnson, Recode, "‘The Front Runner’ director Jason Reitman says technology has taught today’s young people how to be great filmmakers," 1 Nov. 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

16 Dec 2018

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 \

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 \

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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