Definition of scintillation in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /sɪntɪˈleɪʃ(ə)n/


1A flash or sparkle of light: scintillations of diamond-hard light
More example sentences
  • What a whirl, what a swirl, what a syncopating scintillation of networking, flirting and aerobic socializing this week mixes up!
  • The dragon shattered into the shadows as the scintillation of explosive elemental forces raced out and away from the impact.
  • It is continuing the six-stringed scintillation that originated on the band's first effort.
1.1 [mass noun] The process or state of emitting flashes of light.
Example sentences
  • There is an oscillation which causes an impression of scintillation over the area.
1.2 Physics A small flash of visible or ultraviolet light emitted by fluorescence in a phosphor when struck by a charged particle or high-energy photon.
Example sentences
  • I loved to hold its face close to mine in the dark and watch the scintillations produced every time a radium nucleus decayed.
  • Unlike other carbon-dating methods that monitor scintillations produced by radioactive decay, the TAMS method counts the actual number of carbon isotope atoms in a sample.
  • More recently, astrophysicists explained the intraday variability in luminosity as a scintillation in the interstellar medium rather than rapid quasar rotation.
1.3 [mass noun] Astronomy The twinkling of the stars, caused by the earth’s atmosphere diffracting starlight unevenly.
Example sentences
  • They were looking for a differential shift of less than one second of arc; even on a perfectly still night, the amount of scintillation or blurring shown by stars due to atmospheric turbulence is of this order.
  • Light and radio waves get refracted in a phenomenon known as ionospheric scintillation (similar to the way light is refracted by water, such that a pencil looks bent when it is halfsubmerged in a glass of water).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: scin¦til|la¦tion

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.