resolving power

noun

1
: the ability of an optical system to form distinguishable images of objects separated by small angular distances
2
: the ability of a photographic film or plate to reproduce the fine detail of an optical image

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The farther apart two dishes are, the better the resolving power of that array. Erika K Carlson, Discover Magazine, 10 Apr. 2019 In this way, the electron energy sets the maximum resolving power of a deep inelastic scattering experiment. Quanta Magazine, 19 Oct. 2022 These Olympus 10x25 offer a great compromise between resolving power, weight, and price. Scott Gilbertson, WIRED, 22 Aug. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'resolving power.' 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

1879, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of resolving power was in 1879

Dictionary Entries Near resolving power

Cite this Entry

“Resolving power.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/resolving%20power. Accessed 6 Jun. 2023.

Medical Definition

resolving power

noun
: the ability of an optical system to form distinguishable images of objects separated by small angular distances

More from Merriam-Webster on resolving power

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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