wave number


: the number of waves per unit distance of radiant energy of a given wavelength : the reciprocal of the wavelength

Examples of wave number in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Douglas Felix also obtained the right answer, introducing the important concept of the wave number. Quanta Magazine, 26 July 2019

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

1873, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of wave number was in 1873

Dictionary Entries Near wave number

Cite this Entry

“Wave number.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wave%20number. Accessed 12 Jun. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on wave number

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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