spec·​u·​lar ˈspe-kyə-lər How to pronounce specular (audio)
: of, relating to, or having the qualities of a mirror
specularity noun
specularly adverb

Examples of specular in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web By using all these data streams in combination, the researchers were able to pick out a few specific places on the moon’s surface that had produced the specular reflections. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, 19 June 2020 This applies to all the specular technologies spawned in photography’s wake—right down to the MRIs and ultrasounds of our frantically medicalized era. Will Self, Harper's Magazine, 23 Nov. 2021 But a range of other rocks appear in the archaeological record, from the yellow ochre goethite to the often-dramatic specular hematite, sometimes called specularite. Gemma Tarlach, Discover Magazine, 15 Mar. 2018 This may be the case, and certainly in our specular culture, in which all public debate takes place within a hall of electronic mirrors, what’s seen inevitably synergizes with the requirement that justice appear to be done. Will Self, Harper’s Magazine , 28 Sep. 2022 None were seen at its equator, where the specular reflections were observed by the radio telescopes beginning in 2000, the researchers write. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, 19 June 2020 Most good TVs that support HDR are capable of displaying specular highlights at around 800-1,200 cd/m² in brightness, and that range of brightness from black (or close-enough to it on LCD displays) is what makes HDR possible. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, 26 Nov. 2019 Blocks gain extra depth and detail from normal maps, enabling shadows, lighting, specular reflectivity and ambient occlusion to further increase their fidelity and appearance. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, 19 Aug. 2019 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'specular.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin specularis of a mirror, from speculum

First Known Use

1640, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of specular was in 1640

Dictionary Entries Near specular

Cite this Entry

“Specular.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/specular. Accessed 30 Nov. 2023.

Medical Definition


spec·​u·​lar ˈspek-yə-lər How to pronounce specular (audio)
: conducted with the aid of a speculum
a specular examination
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