[spek-truh l]
  1. of or relating to a specter; ghostly; phantom.
  2. resembling or suggesting a specter.
  3. of, relating to, or produced by a spectrum or spectra.
  4. resembling or suggesting a spectrum or spectra.

Origin of spectral

1710–20; < Latin spectr(um) (see specter) + -al1
Related formsspec·tral·i·ty, spec·tral·ness, nounspec·tral·ly, adverbnon·spec·tral, adjectivenon·spec·tral·ly, adverbnon·spec·tral·i·ty, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for spectrally

Historical Examples of spectrally

British Dictionary definitions for spectrally


  1. of or like a spectre
  2. of or relating to a spectrumspectral colours
  3. physics (of a physical quantity) relating to a single wavelength of radiationspectral luminous efficiency
Derived Formsspectrality (spɛkˈtrælɪtɪ) or spectralness, nounspectrally, adverb
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 spectrally



1718, "capable of seeing spectres;" 1815, "ghostly;" from spectre + -al (1). Meaning "pertaining to a spectrum" is 1832, from stem of spectrum + -al (1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

spectrally in Medicine


  1. Of, relating to, or produced by a spectrum.
Related formsspec•trali•ty (-trălĭ-tē) null n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.