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ray

1
[rey]
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noun
  1. a narrow beam of light.
  2. a gleam or slight manifestation: a ray of hope.
  3. a raylike line or stretch of something.
  4. light or radiance.
  5. a line of sight.
  6. Physics, Optics.
    1. any of the lines or streams in which light appears to radiate from a luminous body.
    2. the straight line normal to the wave front in the propagation of radiant energy.
    3. a stream of material particles all moving in the same straight line.
  7. Mathematics.
    1. one of a system of straight lines emanating from a point.
    2. Also called half-line.the part of a straight line considered as originating at a point on the line and as extending in one direction from that point.
  8. any of a system of parts radially arranged.
  9. Zoology.
    1. one of the branches or arms of a starfish or other radiate animal.
    2. one of the bony or cartilaginous rods in the fin of a fish.
  10. Botany.
    1. ray flower.
    2. one of the branches of an umbel.
    3. vascular ray.
    4. (in certain composite plants) the marginal part of the flower head.
  11. Astronomy. one of many long, bright streaks radiating from some of the large lunar craters.
  12. a prominent upright projection from the circlet of a crown or coronet, having a pointed or ornamented termination.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to emit rays.
  2. to issue in rays.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to send forth in rays.
  2. to throw rays upon; irradiate.
  3. to subject to the action of rays, as in radiotherapy.
  4. Informal. to make a radiograph of; x-ray.
  5. to furnish with rays or radiating lines.
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Idioms
  1. get/grab some rays, Slang. to relax in the sun, especially to sunbathe.
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Origin of ray

1
1300–50; Middle English raie, raye < Old French rai < Latin radius radius
Related formsray·like, adjective

Synonyms for ray

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1. See gleam.

ray

2
[rey]
noun
  1. any of numerous elasmobranch fishes, adapted for life on the sea bottom, having a flattened body and greatly enlarged pectoral fins with the gills on the undersides.
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Origin of ray

2
1275–1325; Middle English raye (< Old French rai) < Latin raia

Ray

[rey for 1, 2, 4–6; rahy for 3]
noun
  1. John,1627?–1705, English naturalist.
  2. Man [man] /mæn/, 1890–1976, U.S. painter and photographer.
  3. Sat·ya·jit [suht-yuh-jit] /ˈsʌt yə dʒɪt/, 1921–92, Indian film director.
  4. Cape, a promontory at the SW extremity of Newfoundland, Canada, on the Cabot Strait, at the entrance of the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
  5. a male given name, form of Raymond.
  6. Also Raye. a female given name, form of Rachel.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for rays

light, radiation, glimmer, streak, radiance, stream, emanation, flicker, blink, glitter, hint, gleam, flash, sparkle, blaze, trace, scintilla, wave, spark, shine

Examples from the Web for rays

Contemporary Examples of rays

Historical Examples of rays

  • He said "It is Light" and he used the rays of the early sun to gather food for his family.

    Ancient Man

    Hendrik Willem van Loon

  • The air is also full of demons, as the rays of the sun are full of atoms.

    The Dream

    Emile Zola

  • The rays of the setting sun brought out the drabness of her.

    Dust

    Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius

  • Bitter indeed must be the wintry blast, torrid the rays of summer here.

    In the Heart of Vosges

    Matilda Betham-Edwards

  • The genii of the East have woven this banner from the rays of benignant stars.

    Leila, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton


British Dictionary definitions for rays

Ray

1
noun
  1. Cape Ray a promontory in SW Newfoundland, Canada
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Ray

2
noun
  1. John . 1627–1705, English naturalist. He originated natural botanical classification and the division of flowering plants into monocotyledons and dicotyledons
  2. Man, real name Emmanuel Rudnitsky . 1890–1976, US surrealist photographer
  3. Satyajit (ˈsætjədʒɪt). 1921–92, Indian film director, noted for his Apu trilogy (1955–59)
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ray

1
noun
  1. a narrow beam of light; gleam
  2. a slight indication, esp of something anticipated or hoped fora ray of solace
  3. maths a straight line extending from a point
  4. a thin beam of electromagnetic radiation or particles
  5. any of the bony or cartilaginous spines of the fin of a fish that form the support for the soft part of the fin
  6. any of the arms or branches of a starfish or other radiate animal
  7. astronomy any of a number of bright streaks that radiate from the youngest lunar craters, such as Tycho; they are composed of crater ejecta not yet darkened, and extend considerable distances
  8. botany any strand of tissue that runs radially through the vascular tissue of some higher plantsSee medullary ray
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verb
  1. (of an object) to emit (light) in rays or (of light) to issue in the form of rays
  2. (intr) (of lines, etc) to extend in rays or on radiating paths
  3. (tr) to adorn (an ornament, etc) with rays or radiating lines
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Word Origin for ray

C14: from Old French rai, from Latin radius spoke, radius

ray

2
noun
  1. any of various marine selachian fishes typically having a flattened body, greatly enlarged winglike pectoral fins, gills on the undersurface of the fins, and a long whiplike tail. They constitute the orders Torpediniformes (electric rays) and Rajiformes
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Word Origin for ray

C14: from Old French raie, from Latin raia

ray

3
noun
  1. music (in tonic sol-fa) the second degree of any major scale; supertonic
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Word Origin for ray

C14: see gamut
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 rays

ray

n.1

"beam of light," c.1300, from Old French rai (nominative rais) "ray (of the sun), spoke (of a wheel); gush, spurt," from Latin radius "ray, spoke, staff, rod" (see radius). Not common before 17c. [OED]; of the sun, usually in reference to heat (beam being preferred for light). Science fiction ray-gun is first recorded 1931 (but cf. Martian Heat ray weapon in H.G. Wells' "War of the Worlds," 1898).

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ray

n.2

type of fish related to sharks, early 14c., from French raie (13c.), from Latin raia, of unknown origin.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

rays in Medicine

ray

(rā)
n.
  1. A narrow beam of light or other electromagnetic radiation.
  2. A narrow beam of particles, as a cathode.
  3. A structure or part having the form of a straight line extending from a point.
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Ray

John 1627-1705
  1. English naturalist who was the first to use anatomy to distinguish between specific plants and animals. He established the species as the basic classification of living things.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

rays in Science

ray

[rā]
  1. A thin line or narrow beam of light or other radiation.
  2. A geometric figure consisting of the part of a line that is on one side of a point on the line.
  3. See ray flower.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.