• synonyms


[spek-tros-kuh-pee, spek-truh-skoh-pee]
  1. the science that deals with the use of the spectroscope and with spectrum analysis.
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Origin of spectroscopy

First recorded in 1865–70; spectro- + -scopy
Related formsspec·tros·co·pist [spek-tros-kuh-pist] /spɛkˈtrɒs kə pɪst/, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for spectroscopy

Historical Examples of spectroscopy

  • In the early days of spectroscopy many doubters said, What good is all this?

    Inventors at Work

    George Iles

  • Celestial photography, photometry and spectroscopy sum up its fields of activity.

  • Simple as it is in its broad outlines, spectroscopy is, in reality, one of the most intricate branches of modern science.

  • His most important work was concerned with the conduction of heat and with spectroscopy.

  • In spectroscopy, Blopolsky has sought to determine the period of rotation of Venus on her axis.


    David Todd

British Dictionary definitions for spectroscopy


  1. the science and practice of using spectrometers and spectroscopes and of analysing spectra, the methods employed depending on the radiation being examined. The techniques are widely used in chemical analysis and in studies of the properties of atoms, molecules, ions, etc
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Derived Formsspectroscopist, 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

spectroscopy in Medicine


  1. The study of spectra, especially experimental observation of optical spectra.
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Related formsspec•trosco•pist n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

spectroscopy in Science


  1. The analysis of spectra, especially light or mass spectra, to determine properties of their source.♦ In light or optical spectroscopy, the spectrum of a light source is analyzed through a spectroscope to determine atomic composition of a substance. In astronomy, phenomena such as red shift can also be analyzed.♦ In mass spectroscopy, a spectroscope is used to determine the composition of ions or charged molecules in a sample. Spectroscopy is also called spectrography. See also atomic spectrum spectroscope.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

spectroscopy in Culture



The branch of science devoted to discovering the chemical composition of materials by looking at the light (and other kinds of electromagnetic radiation) they emit. Scientists use spectroscopy to determine the nature of distant stars and galaxies as well as to identify and monitor the production of products in factories.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.