spec·tral | \ˈspek-trəl \

Definition of spectral 

1 : of, relating to, or suggesting a specter : ghostly

2 : of, relating to, or made by a spectrum

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Other Words from spectral

spectrally \ˈspek-trə-lē \ adverb

Examples of spectral in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

To identify galaxies that have a small AGN, the team looked for spectral peaks that were sharp at the top but smeared out around the base. Daniel Clery, Science | AAAS, "Discovery of middleweight black holes could explain origin of million-solar-mass monster," 30 May 2018 Basquiat’s presence in the film is more spectral as a result. New York Times, "Review: ‘Boom for Real’ Is a Beguiling Look at a Teenage Basquiat," 30 Apr. 2018 Later, the performers elicited daubs of tone from conventional instruments, as if translating those found objects into spectral music. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, "The Sonic Fury of the Ojai Music Festival," 24 June 2018 Either some poor editor painstakingly erased Mike from the establishing shots, or some poor editor plopped his Photoshopped spectral form into some random footage. Rebecca Farley, refinery29.com, "The Proposal Is A Disturbing Anti-Women Episode Of Next," 19 June 2018 Violet would derive strength from her mother’s spectral presence, which would perch next to her sleeping bag in the Parr kids’ cave hideaway. refinery29.com, "The Subtle Reason Why Pixar Movies Differ From The Disney Classics Of Yore," 15 June 2018 The preceding episode revealed that Ford had maintained his spectral presence by uploading himself to The Cradle: a simulation of Westworld that serves as a backup copy of the minds of its many hosts. Sandra Upson, WIRED, "Westworld Recap, Season 2 Episode 7: Decoding Da Vinci," 4 June 2018 Now 75, spectral and impish under a shock of white hair, Alexander putters around his rabbit warren-like home, cluttered with boxes and trunks full of memorabilia, the walls plastered with concert fliers, newspaper clippings, and holy pictures. Peter Keough, BostonGlobe.com, "Punk rocking on both sides of the pond in ‘Boys From Nowhere’ and ‘Here to Be Heard’," 17 May 2018 The clouds closest to the black hole swirl around it at high speed, which shifts the frequencies via the Doppler effect and smears out each spectral peak. Daniel Clery, Science | AAAS, "Discovery of middleweight black holes could explain origin of million-solar-mass monster," 30 May 2018

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

1769, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for spectral

The first known use of spectral was in 1769

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English Language Learners Definition of spectral

: of, relating to, or suggesting a ghost

: of, relating to, or made by a spectrum


spec·tral | \ˈspek-trəl \

Medical Definition of spectral 

: of, relating to, or made by a spectrum

Other Words from spectral

spectrally adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on spectral

See words that rhyme with spectral

Britannica English: Translation of spectral for Arabic Speakers

Comments on spectral

What made you want to look up spectral? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


evasion of direct action or statement

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