[ spin-thar-uh-skohp ]
/ spɪnˈθær əˌskoʊp /


an instrument that detects ionizing radiation by picking up sparks of light from alpha particles.

Nearby words

  1. spinoza, baruch,
  2. spinoza, benedict,
  3. spinozism,
  4. spinproof,
  5. spinster,
  6. spinto,
  7. spinule,
  8. spinulose,
  9. spiny,
  10. spiny anteater

Related formsspin·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. 2019

Examples from the Web for spinthariscope

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

    Creative Chemistry|Edwin E. Slosson

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