There are 2 definitions of ray in English:

ray1

Syllabification: ray

noun

1Each of the lines in which light (and heat) may seem to stream from the sun or any luminous body, or pass through a small opening: a ray of sunlight came through the window
More example sentences
  • A Camera Obscura is when an inverted image is created by rays of light passing through a pinhole into a dark space.
  • Light rays pass through the cornea and the lens and focus on the retina.
  • I can't move, I'm so enraptured by the way the last luminous rays of light dance over his glowing skin.
Synonyms
beam, shaft, streak, stream
1.1The straight line in which light or other electromagnetic radiation travels to a given point.
More example sentences
  • This was the approach of geometrical optics, which treated light as moving in straight line rays which were reflected or refracted according to simple rules.
  • The easiest way to describe light rays and light cones is through geometric optics.
  • Mirrors, spherical or otherwise, operate on the principle that the angle of reflection of a ray of light equals the angle at which it strikes the mirror's surface.
1.2 [with adjective] (rays) A specified form of nonluminous radiation: water reflects and intensifies UV rays
More example sentences
  • But even more important is that it absorbs carcinogenic ultra-violet rays and electromagnetic radiation.
  • A whole day of radiation of ultraviolet rays even kills the most resistant of germs.
  • Look for one that promises to shield you from a broad spectrum of ultraviolet rays.
1.3 Mathematics Any of a set of straight lines passing through one point.
More example sentences
  • All coding elements redirect light so that no ray, besides the on-axis ray, travels toward the traditional geometric focus point.
  • It is always wise to make a sketch of the system, including the ray bundles for the on-axis and off-axis imagery.
1.4 (rays) informal , chiefly North American Sunlight considered in the context of sunbathing: Sarah’s catching some rays on a beach in Cruz Bay
More example sentences
  • Find out about the villa's position and orientation so you know that you do not have go to the beach in order to catch some rays.
  • Midmountain, Sunshine Grill's deck lets you catch some rays over a burger or chili.
  • Two researchers specializing in the psychology of health say they've found a more productive way to wean sun worshipers from catching some rays.
1.5An initial or slight indication of a positive or welcome quality in a time of difficulty or trouble: if only I could see some ray of hope
More example sentences
  • Most of all I feel really needed all of a sudden; I feel I can bring a slight ray of hope and variety to this ever more depressing world.
  • The commissioners comment, ‘This witness was a fresh and welcome ray of hope for the Tribunal.’
  • Although the concrete result of the proposal has yet to be seen, it nevertheless sparks a ray of hope for a peaceful solution in the troubled region.
Synonyms
glimmer, flicker, spark, hint, suggestion, sign
2A thing that is arranged radially, in particular.
More example sentences
  • Traces of thorns can be observed on the surface of the distal part of all rays.
  • All rays of the outwardly placed spicules are well developed.
  • In green swordtails, the sword consists of a set of ventral fin rays that extend posteriorly beyond the caudal fin margin.
2.1 Botany (In a composite flower head of the daisy family) an array of ray florets arranged radially around the central disc, forming the white part of the flower head of a daisy.
More example sentences
  • Parenchyma rays occur throughout the xylem and phloem cells.
  • In the vascular tissue of woody species, parenchyma cells include those in phloem, and the ray cells and axial parenchyma cells in xylem.
  • The resin canal itself was excluded from fusiform rays.
2.2 (also fin ray) Zoology Each of the long, slender bony protuberances supporting the fins of most bony fishes.
More example sentences
  • Two to three scales bear a pore behind the inversion line until the lateral line ends at a caudal fin ray.
  • The pelvic fin usually consists of a spine on each side and one fin ray.
  • One of the most prominent characteristics of early vertebrates is the elongate caudal fin bearing fin rays.
2.3 Zoology Each radial arm of a starfish.
More example sentences
  • The sequence and pattern of development of supernumerary rays differs among multiradiate starfish.

verb

[no object] Back to top  
1Spread from or as if from a central point: delicate lines rayed out at each corner of her eyes
More example sentences
  • So he went to where a single blackthorn limb spired above a briary thicket, rayed with fine spikes.
  • The battleships ray out over the North Sea, keeping their stations accurately apart.
1.1 [with object] literary Radiate (light): the sun rays forth its natural light into the air

Origin

Middle English: from Old French rai, based on Latin radius 'spoke, ray'. The verb dates from the late 16th century.

Phrases

ray of sunshine

informal A person or thing that brings happiness into the lives of others.
More example sentences
  • Scottish fiction, for all its manifest and manifold qualities, is not blessed with many rays of sunshine.
  • As P G Wodehouse famously commented in Blandings Castle: ‘It is never difficult to distinguish between a Scotsman with a grievance and a ray of sunshine.’
  • Cathy said: ‘Shannon was a little star and our little ray of sunshine.’

Derivatives

rayless

adjective
(chiefly Botany)
More example sentences
  • Senecio jacobaea exhibits geographic variation in the frequency of rayed and discoid (rayless) individuals.
  • The rayless clouds dimmed, the darkening sky loomed above.
  • Within the tomb no veiled and weeping sorrow sits, and in the rayless gloom is crouched no shuddering fear.

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Word of the day setose
Pronunciation: ˈsēˌtōs
adjective
bearing bristles or setae; bristly

There are 2 definitions of ray in English:

ray2

Syllabification: ray

noun

A broad, flat marine or freshwater fish with a cartilaginous skeleton, winglike pectoral fins, and a long slender tail. Many rays have venomous spines or electric organs.
  • Order Batiformes: several families, including Rajidae (the skates)
More example sentences
  • Participants will dive amidst one of Europe's largest collection of sharks, as well as 2000 other fish, rays and conger eels.
  • The freshwater sawfish, a ray, is related to stingrays, skates, sharks, and other fishes with cartilaginous skeletons.
  • Whale sharks, manta rays and even grey whales are almost common.

Origin

Middle English: from Old French raie, from Latin raia.

Definition of ray in: