verb (used with object)

to break up or bend by diffraction.

Origin of diffract

First recorded in 1795–1805; back formation from diffraction
Related formsun·dif·fract·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for diffract

Historical Examples of diffract

  • Its cuticle is so ruled with fine lines as to diffract the light and flash on moving much as a fire opal.

British Dictionary definitions for diffract



to undergo or cause to undergo diffractionto diffract light; the light diffracts at a slit
Derived Formsdiffractive, adjectivediffractively, adverbdiffractiveness, noun
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

Word Origin and History for diffract

1803, perhaps a back-formation from diffraction. Related: Diffracted; diffracting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper