liquid crystal

noun
a liquid having certain crystalline characteristics, especially different optical properties in different directions when exposed to an electric field.

Origin:
1890–95

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Collins
World English Dictionary
liquid crystal
 
n
smectic See also nematic a liquid that has some crystalline characteristics, such as the presence of different optical properties in different directions; a substance in a mesomorphic state

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
liquid crystal  
Any of various liquids in which molecules are regularly arrayed like a solid crystal along one or two dimensions, but are free in the other dimensions as with typical liquids. Liquid crystals often display unusual and often manipulable optical properties such as anisotropic scattering. See more at LCD.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Liquid crystal diodes do not emit light, they merely modulate either
  transmitted or reflected light.
The lenses could be liquid crystal screens and show movie goers exactly what
  the camera lenses captured.
The liquid crystal is the actual image generator that you look at in the
  display.
But e-paper still suffers in comparison to conventional liquid crystal displays
  in terms of refresh speed and vividness of color.
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