[ spin-thar-uh-skohp ]
/ spɪnˈθær əˌskoʊp /
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an instrument that detects ionizing radiation by picking up sparks of light from alpha particles.



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Origin of spinthariscope

First recorded in 1900–1905; formed irregulary from Greek spintharí(s) (inflectional stem spintharíd- ) “spark” + -scope

OTHER WORDS FROM spinthariscope

spin·thar·i·scop·ic [spin-thar-uh-skop-ik], /spɪnˌθær əˈskɒp ɪk/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for spinthariscope

  • Sir William Crookes invented this radium light apparatus and called it a "spinthariscope," which is Greek for "spark-seer."

    Creative Chemistry|Edwin E. Slosson
  • But the most striking way of showing the emanations is by the little contrivance I call a Spinthariscope.

    The Life Radiant|Lilian Whiting
  • A simple form of apparatus called the spinthariscope has been devised to show these scintillations.

    A Brief Account of Radio-activity|Francis Preston Venable

British Dictionary definitions for spinthariscope

/ (spɪnˈθærɪˌskəʊp) /


a device for observing ionizing radiation, consisting of a tube with a magnifying lens at one end and a phosphorescent screen at the other. A particle hitting the screen produces a scintillation

Word Origin for spinthariscope

C20: from Greek spintharis a little spark + -scope
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
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