spall·​ation spȯ-ˈlā-shən How to pronounce spallation (audio)
: a nuclear reaction in which light particles are ejected as the result of bombardment (as by high-energy protons)
: the process of spalling

Examples of spallation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Those protons smashing and staying put creates the right kind of actinium through a process called spallation. Sarah Scoles, Scientific American, 13 Feb. 2024 In a process called spallation, high-energy cosmic rays from exploding stars can ram into interstellar gas particles, says Pierre Salati, a particle astrophysicist at the Annecy-le-Vieux Particle Physics Laboratory, who worked on Poulin’s 2019 study. Leto Sapunar, Scientific American, 7 June 2021 Are there a sufficient number of meteorites slamming into planets to launch life-seeding rocks through space (a.k.a. cause spallation)? Carl Engelking, Discover Magazine, 13 June 2017

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

1947, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of spallation was in 1947

Dictionary Entries Near spallation

Cite this Entry

“Spallation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jun. 2024.

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