the act or process of rarefying.
the state of being rarefied.

1595–1605; < Medieval Latin rārēfactiōn- (stem of rārēfactiō), equivalent to Latin rārēfact(us) (past participle of rārēfacere; see rarefy) + -iōn- -ion

rarefactional, adjective
rarefactive [rair-uh-fak-tiv] , adjective

diffraction, diffusion, reflection, rarefaction, refraction.
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World English Dictionary
rarefaction or rarefication (ˌrɛərɪˈfækʃən, ˌrɛərɪfɪˈkeɪʃən)
the act or process of making less dense or the state of being less dense
rarefication or rarefication
rare'factional or rarefication
rarefi'cational or rarefication
rare'factive or rarefication

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

rarefaction rar·e·fac·tion (râr'ə-fāk'shən)
A decrease in density and pressure in a medium, such as air, caused by the passage of a sound wave.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
rarefaction   (râr'ə-fāk'shən)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. A decrease in density and pressure in a medium, such as air, especially when caused by the passage of a wave, such as a sound wave.

  2. The region in which this occurs.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Britannica


in the physics of sound, segment of one cycle of a longitudinal wave during its travel or motion, the other segment being compression. If the prong of a tuning fork vibrates in the air, for example, the layer of air adjacent to the prong undergoes compression when the prong moves so as to squeeze the air molecules together. When the prong springs back in the opposite direction, however, it leaves an area of reduced air pressure. This is rarefaction. A succession of rarefactions and compressions makes up the longitudinal wave motion that emanates from an acoustic source

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Cross-compatible cartridge case for orthodox or rarefaction wave gun firing.
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