• synonyms


[ bahy-ri-frin-juh ns ]
/ ˌbaɪ rɪˈfrɪn dʒəns /

noun Optics.

double refraction.

Nearby words

birdseye, birdseye, clarence, birdshot, birdsong, birectangular, birefringence, bireme, birendra bir bikram shah dev, biretta, birgitta, biri

Origin of birefringence

First recorded in 1885–90; bi-1 + refringence
Related formsbi·re·frin·gent, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for birefringence

  • The difference between the two indices is a measure of the strength of the double refraction or birefringence.

    Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 7, Slice 7|Various

British Dictionary definitions for birefringence


/ (ˌbaɪrɪˈfrɪndʒəns) /


another name for double refraction
Derived Formsbirefringent, 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

Medicine definitions for birefringence


[ bī′rĭ-frĭnjəns ]


The resolution or splitting of a light wave into two unequally reflected waves by an optically anisotropic medium such as calcite or quartz.
Related formsbi′re•fringent adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for birefringence


[ bī′rĭ-frĭnjəns ]

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.
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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.