reflectance

noun

re·​flec·​tance ri-ˈflek-tən(t)s How to pronounce reflectance (audio)
: 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 The stickers were essentially thin, flexible layers of camo with the potential to take on a pattern to match the soldiers’ infrared reflectance to their background. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 28 Mar. 2023 The optical sensors in satellites are calibrated to measure reflectance over specific bands of the electromagnetic spectrum. IEEE Spectrum, 19 Feb. 2022 To avoid problems with painting vinyl siding, painters for years have been told never to switch to a darker color and to use colors with a light reflectance value of 55 or greater. Jeanne Huber, Washington Post, 15 Sep. 2023 Under the guidance of Professor Prum, Ms Venable measured more than 5000 reflectance spectra from over 1600 plumage patches located on 114 different species of hummingbirds (Trochilidae) from study skin specimens held by the Yale Peabody Museum and the American Museum of Natural History. Grrlscientist, Forbes, 26 June 2022 As Popular Science reports, the team led by the UK National Physical Laboratory will spend nine days at lake Tuz measuring the reflectance of test sites from a variety of angles. Joseph Calamia, Discover Magazine, 17 Aug. 2010 It’s connected to the reflectance of ice and the heat coming out of air conditioners and cities. Stephanie Innes, The Arizona Republic, 14 Aug. 2021 This exposes low reflectance material to the south of its peak-ring. David Rothery, Discover Magazine, 11 Mar. 2016 That's because the reflectance of light from the Moon's surface is well known. Tom Yulsman, Discover Magazine, 7 Jan. 2017 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1893, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of reflectance was in 1893

Dictionary Entries Near reflectance

Cite this Entry

“Reflectance.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/reflectance. Accessed 25 Feb. 2024.

Medical Definition

reflectance

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

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