the number of waves in one centimeter of light in a given wavelength; the reciprocal of the wavelength.
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Origin of wave number
First recorded in 1900–05
Words nearby wave number
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for wave number
physics the reciprocal of the wavelength of a waveSymbol: ν, σ
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
Scientific definitions for wave number
The number of wave cycles per unit distance for a wave of a given wavelength.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.