Word of the Day

Saturday, May 03, 2014

scintillate

\SIN-tl-eyt\ , verb;
1.
to twinkle, as the stars.
2.
to sparkle; flash: a mind that scintillates with brilliance.
3.
to emit sparks.
4.
Electronics. (of a spot of light or image on a radar display) to shift rapidly around a mean position.
5.
Physics. a. (of the amplitude, phase, or polarization of an electromagnetic wave) to fluctuate in a random manner. b. (of an energetic photon or particle) to produce a flash of light in a phosphor by striking it.
Quotes:
My wit is all of the p.m. variety, and never scintillates in the morning.
-- Ellen Thorneycroft Fowler, A Double Thread, 1899
Aldebaran was a spot of blood-red fire, and Sirius condensed to one point the light of a world of sapphires. And they shone steadily: they did not scintillate, they were calmly glorious.
-- H.G. Wells, Under the Knife, 1896
Origin:
Scintillate is related to the Latin scintillāre meaning "to send out sparks, flash." It entered English in the early 1600s.
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