wave·​length | \ ˈwāv-ˌleŋ(k)th How to pronounce wavelength (audio) \

Definition of wavelength

1 : the distance in the line of advance of a wave from any one point to the next point of corresponding phase
2 : a particular course or line of thought especially as related to mutual understanding two people on different wavelengths

Examples of wavelength in a Sentence

Light and sound have different wavelengths.
Recent Examples on the Web This light has a shorter wavelength (200-230nm), inhibiting its ability to penetrate human skin while still being able to attack small viral air particles efficiently. William A. Haseltine, Forbes, 2 May 2022 Radio waves have the longest wavelength of all, with microwaves just below them in the electromagnetic spectrum. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, 26 Apr. 2022 The task was to figure out which wavelength, or frequency, would excite as many cesium atoms as possible into emitting a packet of light, or photon. New York Times, 25 Apr. 2022 The wavelength of light that an object emits depends on its temperature. Rhett Allain, Wired, 7 Jan. 2022 Examining how sound is a key memory marker of life’s most important moments, her first collection included wavelength rings, high-frequency earrings and resonance cuffs set with diamonds, pearls and her favorite pink sapphires. Y-jean Mun-delsalle, Forbes, 19 May 2022 Telescopes in the millimetre-wavelength range can image the event horizon of a black hole, says project manager Marc Klein Wolt, who is also managing director of the Radboud Radio Lab at Radboud University. Sarah Wild, Scientific American, 9 Feb. 2022 If investors and Fed officials are generally on the same wavelength about how monetary policy will evolve, that can foster smoother and faster transmission of the central bank’s moves to the economy via financial markets. Nick Timiraos, WSJ, 3 May 2022 Cho and his colleagues also determined that the average strand of spider silk measured 9 feet long and a mere 200 nanometers across (less than the wavelength of visible light). Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 4 Apr. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of wavelength

1850, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for wavelength

Time Traveler

The first known use of wavelength was in 1850

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Dictionary Entries Near wavelength

wave height



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Statistics for wavelength

Last Updated

21 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Wavelength.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wavelength. Accessed 1 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for wavelength


wave·​length | \ ˈwāv-ˌleŋth How to pronounce wavelength (audio) \

Kids Definition of wavelength

: the distance in the line of advance of a wave from any one point to the next similar point


wave·​length | \ -ˌleŋ(k)th How to pronounce wavelength (audio) \

Medical Definition of wavelength

: the distance in the line of advance of a wave from any one point to the next point of corresponding phase symbol λ

More from Merriam-Webster on wavelength

Nglish: Translation of wavelength for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about wavelength


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