Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[bahy-ri-frin-juh ns] /ˌbaɪ rɪˈfrɪn dʒəns/
noun, Optics.
Origin of birefringence
First recorded in 1885-90; bi-1 + refringence
Related forms
birefringent, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for birefringence
Historical Examples
British Dictionary definitions for birefringence


another name for double refraction
Derived Forms
birefringent, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
birefringence in Medicine

birefringence bi·re·frin·gence (bī'rĭ-frĭn'jəns)
The resolution or splitting of a light wave into two unequally reflected waves by an optically anisotropic medium such as calcite or quartz.

bi're·frin'gent adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
birefringence in Science
  1. The property or capacity of splitting a beam of light into two beams, each refracted at a different angle, and each polarized at a right angle to the other. Certain crystals such as calcite and quartz have this property.

  2. The difference in the index of refraction between two beams passing through a substance that has this property. See also refraction, index of refraction.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for birefringence

Word Value for birefringence

Scrabble Words With Friends