wavelength

noun
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 When short wavelength light penetrates into the clear, frozen lake, light scatters in the water below and reflects back through the ice. Slone Terranella, Detroit Free Press, "Blue ice makes for a spectacular site in Straits of Mackinac, leaving many in awe," 12 Feb. 2021 Frequency and wavelength, then, have an inverse relationship. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "5G Truthers Bought Faraday Cages to Protect Their Routers. They're Mad They Worked.," 4 Dec. 2020 Then the wavelength – the distance between the top of one wave and the top of the wave behind it. Sally Warner, The Conversation, "What makes the world’s biggest surfable waves?," 3 Dec. 2020 Radio telescopes, however, can tune in to long-wavelength, low-frequency radio emissions produced by the gigantic clouds of neutral hydrogen that then filled the universe. Anil Ananthaswamy, Scientific American, "Telescopes on Far Side of the Moon Could Illuminate the Cosmic Dark Ages," 15 Jan. 2021 Ultraviolet rays, with wavelengths shorter than visible light and longer than X-rays, are not only invisible to the eye; the more extreme short-wavelength kind are difficult to focus with conventional optics. Dennis Overbye, New York Times, "Stuart Bowyer, Astronomer Who Lent His Ear to the Cosmos, Dies at 86," 15 Oct. 2020 This happens because each atom of hydrogen can flip between two energy states, emitting or absorbing radiation at a wavelength of 21 centimeters (or a frequency of 1,420 megahertz). Anil Ananthaswamy, Scientific American, "Telescopes on Far Side of the Moon Could Illuminate the Cosmic Dark Ages," 15 Jan. 2021 The instruments aboard the observatory detected subtleties in the moonlight at a wavelength of 6 microns, which the researchers believe is an unambiguous signal of water. Author: Ben Guarino, Joel Achenbach, Anchorage Daily News, "Pair of studies confirm there is water on the moon," 26 Oct. 2020 In the first study, researchers used SOFIA to observe the moon at a wavelength that revealed the signature of molecular water, or H2O. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "The moon may contain more water than previously believed," 26 Oct. 2020

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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Time Traveler for wavelength

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The first known use of wavelength was in 1850

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Last Updated

21 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Wavelength.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wavelength. Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for wavelength

wavelength

noun

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

wavelength

noun
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

wavelength

noun
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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