[ foh-ton-iks ]
/ foʊˈtɒn ɪks /

noun (used with a singular verb)

the study and technology of the use of light for the transmission of information.

Nearby words

  1. photon,
  2. photonasty,
  3. photonegative,
  4. photoneutron,
  5. photonic,
  6. photonovel,
  7. photonuclear,
  8. photooxidation,
  9. photopathic,
  10. photopathy

Origin of photonics

1950–55; see photonic, -ics; perhaps on the model of electronics Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for photonics


/ (fəʊˈtɒnɪks) /


(functioning as singular) the study and design of devices and systems, such as optical fibres, that depend on the transmission, modulation, or amplification of streams of photons
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

Science definitions for photonics


[ fō-tŏnĭks ]

The scientific study or application of electromagnetic energy whose basic unit is the photon, incorporating optics, laser technology, electrical engineering, materials science, and information storage and processing.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.