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[dih-frakt] /dɪˈfrækt/
verb (used with object)
to break up or bend by diffraction.
Origin of diffract
1795-1805; back formation from diffraction
Related forms
undiffracted, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for diffract
  • Laser light is shone onto a holographic medium which causes the beam to diffract, producing an image on a nearby surface.
  • One of the earliest experiments showed that a regular array of atoms could diffract an electron beam.
  • Students also learn that light rays fan out or diffract as they travel.
  • The pattern in which x-rays diffract off the protein reveals its structure.
British Dictionary definitions for diffract


to undergo or cause to undergo diffraction: to diffract light, the light diffracts at a slit
Derived Forms
diffractive, adjective
diffractively, adverb
diffractiveness, noun
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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Word Origin and History for diffract

1803, perhaps a back-formation from diffraction. Related: Diffracted; diffracting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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