9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[spek-truh l] /ˈspɛk trəl/
of or relating to a specter; ghostly; phantom.
resembling or suggesting a specter.
of, relating to, or produced by a spectrum or spectra.
resembling or suggesting a spectrum or spectra.
Origin of spectral
1710-20; < Latin spectr(um) (see specter) + -al1
Related forms
spectrality, spectralness, noun
spectrally, adverb
nonspectral, adjective
nonspectrally, adverb
nonspectrality, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for spectral
  • The technique can distinguish living from dead coral by detecting spectral differences in the light that the reefs reflect.
  • The galaxy orientation might help, depending on where your new friends came from and perhaps their visual spectral range.
  • The infrared spectral region is ideal for observing cool sources and objects enshrouded in dust.
  • Taking advantage of spectral constancy allows the user to hear speech despite changes to pitch.
  • The camera surveys the ice surface, searching for any clumps of matter and reading their spectral signatures.
  • They have got the spectral look of the grand-stands and the infield when the horses are exercised at dawn.
  • So the spectral selection is related to absorption, and not reflection as is sometimes thought.
  • For the moon sailed out of a cloud with the wake of a spectral ship.
  • The landscape was spectral in the light of the waning moon.
  • But crosstalk cancellation has always introduced audible spectral coloration.
British Dictionary definitions for spectral


of or like a spectre
of or relating to a spectrum: spectral colours
(physics) (of a physical quantity) relating to a single wavelength of radiation: spectral luminous efficiency
Derived Forms
spectrality (spɛkˈtrælɪtɪ), spectralness, noun
spectrally, adverb
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 spectral

1718, "capable of seeing spectres;" 1815, "ghostly;" from spectre + -al (1). Meaning "pertaining to a spectrum" is 1832, from stem of spectrum + -al (1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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spectral in Medicine

spectral spec·tral (spěk'trəl)
Of, relating to, or produced by a spectrum.

spec·tral'i·ty (-trāl'ĭ-tē) or spec'tral·ness (-trəl-nĭs) n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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