Definition of diffract in English:

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Pronunciation: /dəˈfrakt/


[with object] Physics
Cause to undergo diffraction.
Example sentences
  • Alternating dark and light parallel lines on the detector mark where columns of silicon atoms diffract the electrons.
  • So as the single photon's wave function passes through the slits it is diffracted and interferes with itself.
  • In 1912, Max von Laue predicted that the spacing of crystal layers is small enough to diffract light of the appropriate wavelength.



Pronunciation: /-tiv/
Example sentences
  • Vortex launch with diffractive optical elements reduces back reflection into the laser source and improves the bandwidth over multimode fiber links.
  • The large, open aperture of the exposed gain media provides plenty of room to multiplex pump beams as well as very low diffractive loss for the circulating laser mode.
  • The general wavefront coding element is nonrotationally symmetric and smooth, although diffractive surfaces can be used.


Pronunciation: /-tivlē/
Example sentences
  • The fractal behaviour of the diffractively produced particles remains almost unchanged for different flux factors.
  • Diagams 1 and 2 show Feynman diagrams corresponding to the interactions necessary to diffractively produce Z and W bosons from these arrangements.


Early 19th century: from Latin diffract- 'broken in pieces', from the verb diffringere, from dis- 'away, from' + frangere 'to break'.

  • If light is diffracted the waves it travels in are broken up in some way. The word is from Latin diffringere ‘break into pieces’.

Words that rhyme with diffract

abreact, abstract, act, attract, bract, compact, contract, counteract, enact, exact, extract, fact, humpbacked, impact, interact, matter-of-fact, pact, protract, redact, refract, retroact, subcontract, subtract, tact, tract, transact, unbacked, underact, untracked

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: dif·fract

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