rarefaction

noun

rar·​e·​fac·​tion ˌrer-ə-ˈfak-shən How to pronounce rarefaction (audio)
1
: the action or process of rarefying
2
: the quality or state of being rarefied
3
: a state or region of minimum pressure in a medium traversed by compressional waves (such as sound waves)
rarefactional adjective

Examples of rarefaction in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web For rarity, for sheer automotive rarefaction, the flagship of BMW’s 2 billion-euro i Division makes those cars look like link sausage. Dan Neil, WSJ, 31 Aug. 2017 Here is art that turns confectionery into both rarefaction and panache. Alastair MacAulay, New York Times, 19 May 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'rarefaction.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

French or Medieval Latin; French raréfaction, from Medieval Latin rarefaction-, rarefactio, from Latin rarefacere to rarefy

First Known Use

1572, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of rarefaction was in 1572

Dictionary Entries Near rarefaction

Cite this Entry

“Rarefaction.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rarefaction. Accessed 27 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

rarefaction

noun
rar·​efac·​tion
ˌrar-ə-ˈfak-shən,
ˌrer-
1
: the action or process of rarefying
2
: the state of being rarefied
3
: a state or region of minimum pressure in a substance (as air) being traveled through by a wave formed by compression (as sound)

Medical Definition

rarefaction

noun
rar·​e·​fac·​tion ˌrar-ə-ˈfak-shən, ˌrer- How to pronounce rarefaction (audio)
1
: the action or process of rarefying
2
: the quality or state of being rarefied
especially : an increase in porosity
areas of rarefaction in the bones
3
: a state or region of minimum pressure in a medium transversed by compressional waves (as sound waves)
the eardrum vibrates according to the compressions and rarefactions of the sound wave
rarefactional adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on rarefaction

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