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

But for light in the wavelength range of 1-100nm (called the extreme ultraviolet), lenses don’t work. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Gas jets make beautiful lens for light we can’t normally focus," 21 Dec. 2018 Intel’s use of 7nm will also incorporate Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) lithography for the first time, a new lithography technology that uses shorter wavelengths of light. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Intel commits to shipping 7nm chips by 2021, an aggressive change of pace," 8 May 2019 The base surrounds the brush on all sides with UV light set at specific wavelengths to kill germs like E. coli and staph. Ann Lien, House Beautiful, "Never Touch a Dirty Toilet Brush Again," 6 May 2019 LED Light-emitting diode devices give off a narrow range of a specific wavelength of light. Allure, "The Skin-Care Glossary: A Comprehensive Guide to Everything You Need to Know," 17 Aug. 2018 But until now, researchers thought these bacteria could absorb only specific, higher-energy wavelengths of light. Sarah Lewin, Space.com, "Weird Low-Light Bacteria Could Potentially Thrive on Mars," 15 June 2018 Reduce screen time Blue light, or artificial blue wavelength lighting emitted by electronic devices, can keep you awake and therefore, disrupt your sleep. Danielle Corcione, Teen Vogue, "How to Fall Asleep," 12 Mar. 2019 The team also learned about the planet’s properties by measuring its brightness at different wavelengths. Brett Molina, USA TODAY, "This is the first image of a newborn planet, European Southern Observatory says," 2 July 2018 As time passed, the new object stayed bright at infrared and radio wavelengths, but not in visible light and X-rays. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Witness Aftermath of a Black Hole Destroying a Star," 15 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of wavelength

1850, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Dictionary Entries near wavelength

wave goodbye


wave height



wave line


Statistics for wavelength

Last Updated

19 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for wavelength

The first known use of wavelength was in 1850

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More Definitions for wavelength



English Language Learners Definition of wavelength

technical : the distance from one wave of energy to another as it is traveling from one point to another point
informal used especially in the phrases on the same wavelength and on a different wavelength to say that people share or do not share a way of thinking


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

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More from Merriam-Webster on wavelength

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with wavelength

Spanish Central: Translation of wavelength

Nglish: Translation of wavelength for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about wavelength

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