pertaining to the electronic or other electric effects produced by light.

Sometimes pho·to·e·lec·tri·cal.

Origin of photoelectric

First recorded in 1860–65; photo- + electric
Related formspho·to·e·lec·tri·cal·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for photoelectric

Historical Examples of photoelectric

  • He has photoelectric vision, and a picture of what that aisle is supposed to look like.

    The Cosmic Computer

    Henry Beam Piper

  • Here's your photoelectric light key for room 2305 F. That's on the two hundred thirtieth floor.

    Stand by for Mars!

    Carey Rockwell

  • Two photoelectric robot machine guns followed each movement of the duelists.

    Thy Rocks and Rills

    Robert Ernest Gilbert

  • He passed his hand rapidly over the photoelectric eye of the commo box.


    Henry Beam Piper and John Joseph McGuire

British Dictionary definitions for photoelectric




of or concerned with electric or electronic effects caused by light or other electromagnetic radiation
Derived Formsphotoelectrically, adverbphotoelectricity (ˌfəʊtəʊɪlɛkˈtrɪsɪtɪ), 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

photoelectric in Medicine




Of or relating to the electric effects, especially increased conductivity, caused by light.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

photoelectric in Science



Relating to or exhibiting to electrical effects upon exposure to light. For example, some photoelectric materials emit electrons called photoelectrons upon exposure to certain frequencies of light; others, such as photoresistors and phototransistors, change their electrical properties. See also photoelectric effect.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.