Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

x-ray

or X-ray

[eks-rey]
See more synonyms for x-ray on Thesaurus.com
noun Also x ray, X ray.
  1. Physics.
    1. Often x-rays.a form of electromagnetic radiation, similar to light but of shorter wavelength and capable of penetrating solids and of ionizing gases.
    2. such radiation having wavelengths in the range of approximately 0.1–10 nm.
  2. a radiograph made by x-rays.
  3. (initial capital letter) a word in communications to represent the letter X.
Show More
verb (used with object)
  1. to examine, photograph, or treat with x-rays.
Show More
adjective
  1. of or relating to x-rays.
Show More

Origin of x-ray

1895–1900; translation of German X-Strahl (1895), the name orig. given to the rays by Röntgen, their discoverer, x signifying their unknown nature
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for x-ray

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples


British Dictionary definitions for x-ray

X-ray

x-ray

noun
    1. electromagnetic radiation emitted when matter is bombarded with fast electrons. X-rays have wavelengths shorter than that of ultraviolet radiation, that is less than about 1 × 10 –8 metres. They extend to indefinitely short wavelengths, but below about 1 × 10 –11 metres they are often called gamma radiation
    2. (as modifier)X-ray astronomy
  1. a picture produced by exposing photographic film to X-rays: used in medicine as a diagnostic aid as parts of the body, such as bones, absorb X-rays and so appear as opaque areas on the picture
  2. (usually capital) communications a code word for the letter x
Show More
verb (tr)
  1. to photograph (part of the body, etc) using X-rays
  2. to treat or examine by means of X-rays
Show More

Word Origin

C19: partial translation of German X-Strahlen (from Strahl ray), coined by W. K. Roentgen in 1895
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 x-ray

X-ray

n.

1896, translation of German X-strahl, from X, algebraic symbol for an unknown quantity, + Strahl (plural Strahlen) "beam, ray." Coined 1895 by German scientist Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen (1845-1923), who discovered them.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

x-ray in Medicine

x-ray

n.
  1. A relatively high-energy photon with wavelength in the approximate range from 0.01 to 10 nanometers.roentgen ray
  2. A stream of such photons used for their penetrating power in radiography, radiology, radiotherapy, and scientific research. Often used in the plural.roentgen ray
  3. A photograph taken with x-rays.
Show More
v.
  1. To irradiate with x-rays.
  2. To photograph with x-rays.
Show More
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

x-ray in Science

x-ray

  1. A high-energy stream of electromagnetic radiation having a frequency higher than that of ultraviolet light but less than that of a gamma ray (in the range of approximately 1016 to 1019 hertz). X-rays are absorbed by many forms of matter, including body tissues, and are used in medicine and industry to produce images of internal structures. See more at electromagnetic spectrum.
  2. An image of an internal structure, such as a body part, taken with x-rays.
Show More
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

x-ray in Culture

x-ray

A form of electromagnetic radiation with very high frequency and energy. X-rays lie between ultraviolet radiation and gamma radiation on the electromagnetic spectrum.

Show More

Note

Because x-rays can travel through solid material and affect photographic plates, they are widely used in diagnosing medical problems.

Note

Objects in the sky also send out x-rays in processes that use very high energy.

x-ray

A photograph or image obtained through the use of x-rays. An x-ray is taken when an image of internal body structures (such as bones or organs) is needed to diagnose disease or determine the extent of injuries.

Show More
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.