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[weyv-lengkth, -length, -lenth] /ˈweɪvˌlɛŋkθ, -ˌlɛŋθ, -ˌlɛnθ/
Physics. the distance, measured in the direction of propagation of a wave, between two successive points in the wave that are characterized by the same phase of oscillation.
on the same wavelength, in sympathy or rapport:
We seemed to be on the same wavelength from the moment we met.
Also, wave length.
Origin of wavelength
1855-60; wave + length Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for wavelength
  • When stimulated by light at a proper wavelength, they cascade down to a lower state, emitting light waves of a uniform wavelength.
  • It cannot ever have a frequency of zero nor a wavelength of zero.
  • Existing lasers small enough to fit on computer chips have difficulty generating photons of the right wavelength.
  • The researchers then varied the wavelength and intensity of the signal light and gauged the bats' reactions.
  • The real destructive power of tsunamis lies not in excessive height, but in their wavelength.
  • Because this wavelength of light doesn't travel far underwater, a dark red squid is effectively invisible.
  • When two people experience a deep connection, they're informally described as being on the same wavelength.
  • The higher the energy of a photon, the shorter is its wavelength.
  • Lasers all work in much the same way: amplifying light into a concentrated beam of a single wavelength or colour.
  • L-band refers to the wavelength of the radar signal.
British Dictionary definitions for wavelength


the distance, measured in the direction of propagation, between two points of the same phase in consecutive cycles of a wave λ
the wavelength of the carrier wave used by a particular broadcasting station
(informal) on someone's wavelength, on the same wavelength, having similar views, feelings, or thoughts (as someone else)
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 wavelength

1850, "distance between peaks of a wave," from wave (n.) + length. Originally of spectra; radio sense is attested by 1925. Figurative sense of "mental harmony" is recorded from 1927, on analogy of radio waves.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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wavelength in Medicine

wavelength wave·length (wāv'lěngkth', -lěngth')

Symbol λ The distance between one peak or crest of a wave of light, heat, or other energy and the next corresponding peak or crest.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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wavelength in Science
The distance between one peak or crest of a wave and the next peak or crest. It is equal to the speed of the wave divided by its frequency, and to the speed of a wave times its period.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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wavelength in Culture

wavelength definition

The distance between crests (or troughs) of a wave.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for wavelength


Related Terms

turn on the waterworks

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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