wavelength

or wave length

[ weyv-lengkth, -length, -lenth ]
/ ˈweɪvˌlɛŋkθ, -ˌlɛŋθ, -ˌlɛnθ /

noun

Physics. the distance, measured in the direction of propagation of a wave, between two successive points in the wave that are characterized by the same phase of oscillation.

Nearby words

  1. waveband,
  2. waved,
  3. waveform,
  4. wavefront,
  5. waveguide,
  6. wavelet,
  7. wavell,
  8. wavellite,
  9. wavemeter,
  10. waveoff

Idioms

    on the same wavelength, in sympathy or rapport: We seemed to be on the same wavelength from the moment we met.

Origin of wavelength

First recorded in 1855–60; wave + length

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for wavelength


British Dictionary definitions for wavelength

wavelength

/ (ˈweɪvˌlɛŋθ) /

noun

the distance, measured in the direction of propagation, between two points of the same phase in consecutive cycles of a waveSymbol: λ
the wavelength of the carrier wave used by a particular broadcasting station
on someone's wavelength or on the same wavelength informal having similar views, feelings, or thoughts (as someone else)
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 wavelength

wavelength

n.

1850, "distance between peaks of a wave," from wave (n.) + length. Originally of spectra; radio sense is attested by 1925. Figurative sense of "mental harmony" is recorded from 1927, on analogy of radio waves.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for wavelength

wavelength

[ wāvlĕngkth′, -lĕngth′ ]

n.

The distance between one peak or crest of a wave of light, heat, or other energy and the next corresponding peak or crest.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for wavelength

wavelength

[ wāvlĕngkth′ ]

The distance between one peak or crest of a wave and the next peak or crest. It is equal to the speed of the wave divided by its frequency, and to the speed of a wave times its period.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Culture definitions for wavelength

wavelength

The distance between crests (or troughs) of a wave.

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.