scin·​til·​la·​tion | \ ˌsin-tə-ˈlā-shən How to pronounce scintillation (audio) \

Definition of scintillation

1 : an act or instance of scintillating especially : rapid changes in the brightness of a celestial body
2a : a spark or flash emitted in scintillating
b : a flash of light produced in a phosphor by an ionizing event
3 : a brilliant outburst (as of wit)
4 : a flash of the eye

Examples of scintillation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Family celebrations are more about support and solidarity than scintillation. Abigail Van Buren, oregonlive, "Dear Abby: Bored family member would rather skip family functions," 29 Aug. 2020 The Tibet ASgamma experiment spotted the photons using an array of nearly 600 scintillation detectors, sensors that turn particle strikes into electronic signals. Dennis Normile, Science | AAAS, "Highest energy light ever seen traced to Crab Nebula," 8 July 2019 The clarity scale for natural and lab diamonds, for example, goes from FL for flawless to included (I1, I2, and I3) for stones with inclusions (small imperfections) that are obvious under 10× magnification and affect scintillation. Mandy Behbehani,, "How to choose a lab-grown diamond," 10 June 2019 There’s no power pop this week, just sultry, seductive scintillation. Peter Rubin, WIRED, "Head Into the Sultry Dog Days With This Weekend’s Playlist," 8 Aug. 2014

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'scintillation.' 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 scintillation

1585, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for scintillation

Time Traveler

The first known use of scintillation was in 1585

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Cite this Entry

“Scintillation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for scintillation


noun, often attributive
scin·​til·​la·​tion | \ ˌsint-ᵊl-ˈā-shən How to pronounce scintillation (audio) \

Medical Definition of scintillation

: a flash of light produced in a phosphor by an ionizing event

More from Merriam-Webster on scintillation

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for scintillation

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