reflectance

noun
re·​flec·​tance | \ ri-ˈflek-tən(t)s How to pronounce reflectance (audio) \

Definition of reflectance

: the fraction of the total radiant flux incident upon a surface that is reflected and that varies according to the wavelength distribution of the incident radiation The basis of this approach is that different materials exhibit unique reflectance and emission properties as a function of wavelength across the electromagnetic spectrum.— Jeffrey Star and John Estes broadly, nontechnically : reflectivity screen reflectance — compare albedo

Examples of reflectance in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web That’s the equivalent of a 0.5% decrease in the Earth’s reflectance. Jamie Carter, Forbes, 6 Dec. 2021 At least during the day—at night, reflectance isn’t an issue. Matt Simon, Wired, 11 Oct. 2021 When the sun shines on our planet, the Earth reflects nearly a third of that light back out into space, but scientists say that warming oceans thanks to climate change have actually caused a drop in that reflectance, commonly called albedo. Eric Mack, Forbes, 30 Sep. 2021 That same process also changes the reflectance of the surface, exposing more dark ground and evaporating more water. Hayley Smith, Los Angeles Times, 14 Sep. 2021 For each point, the camera gathers detailed reflectance information across a range of wavelengths, generating gigabytes of data during an hourlong scan. New York Times, 28 June 2021 Researchers confirmed that the mark was a fingerprint through reflectance transformation imaging (RTI), which combines photographs captured under different light sources to create a detailed virtual model. Livia Gershon, Smithsonian Magazine, 28 Apr. 2021 Or a male Ramphocelus carbo has barbules that are angled instead of flat, to decrease the reflectance of the feather by scattering the light that hits it. Matt Simon, Wired, 30 Apr. 2021 One way buildings can earn that credit is to use materials or devices with an initial solar reflectance of 33 percent at installation or 28 percent over three years, Thompson says. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 22 Apr. 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of reflectance

1893, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About reflectance

Time Traveler for reflectance

Time Traveler

The first known use of reflectance was in 1893

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near reflectance

reflect

reflectance

reflect credit on

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for reflectance

Cite this Entry

“Reflectance.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/reflectance. Accessed 18 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for reflectance

reflectance

noun
re·​flec·​tance | \ ri-ˈflek-tən(t)s How to pronounce reflectance (audio) \

Medical Definition of reflectance

: the fraction of the total radiant flux incident upon a surface that is reflected and that varies according to the wavelength distribution of the incident radiation

called also reflection coefficient, reflection factor

More from Merriam-Webster on reflectance

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about reflectance

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Eponyms: Words Named After People

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!