spectral line

noun

Definition of spectral line

: one of a series of linear images formed by a spectrograph or similar instrument and corresponding to a narrow portion of the spectrum of the radiation emitted or absorbed by a particular source

Examples of spectral line in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web His team also recognized that a red spectral line which supposedly arose from oxygen is actually a blend of oxygen and nickel; subtracting nickel’s contribution led to a lower oxygen abundance. Ken Croswell, Scientific American, 1 July 2020 At the same time, the spectral lines became objects of mathematical interest. Quanta Magazine, 20 Mar. 2018 The ‘hydrogen line’ is the electromagnetic radiation spectral line that is created by a change in the energy state of neutral hydrogen atoms. James Hill, Washington Post, 20 June 2019 The enormous clouds emit large amounts of ultraviolet light with a spectral line produced by hydrogen ions, known as a Lyman-alpha line. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, 21 Sep. 2016 The investigators were hoping to analyze the spectral lines—essentially the chemical fingerprints—of the gasses in Uranus’s atmosphere. Jeffrey Kluger, Time, 24 Apr. 2018 He and his colleagues looked for Doppler shifts in the spectral lines of the stars' light that would be caused if a planet tugged them back and forth. Daniel Clery, Science | AAAS, 11 Apr. 2018 Such light encodes deep insights in the form of spectral lines, which betray the compositions, temperatures and motions of cosmic denizens. Ray Jayawardhana, WSJ, 16 Oct. 2017 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'spectral line.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of spectral line

1849, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About spectral line

Time Traveler for spectral line

Time Traveler

The first known use of spectral line was in 1849

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near spectral line

spectral lemur

spectral line

spectral owl

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for spectral line

Cite this Entry

“Spectral line.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spectral%20line. Accessed 27 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for spectral line

spectral line

noun

Medical Definition of spectral line

: one of a series of linear images of the narrow slit of a spectrograph or similar instrument corresponding to a component of the spectrum of the radiation emitted by a particular source

More from Merriam-Webster on spectral line

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about spectral line

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Words for Scrabble

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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