Meaning of SPECTRUM in English


I. -trəm noun

( plural spec·tra -rə ; or spectrums )

Etymology: New Latin, from Latin, appearance, image, specter — more at specter


a. : apparition , specter

b. : afterimage

2. : an array of the components of an emission or wave separated and arranged in the order of some varying characteristic (as wavelength, mass, or energy): as

a. : a series of images formed when a beam of radiant energy is subjected to dispersion and brought to focus so that the component waves are arranged in the order of their wavelengths (as when a beam of sunlight that is refracted and dispersed by a prism forms a display of colors) — called also color spectrum

b. : electromagnetic spectrum

c. : radio spectrum


(1) : the range of frequencies of sound waves to which the human ear is sensitive — called also acoustic spectrum, acoustical spectrum, sound spectrum

(2) : the range of frequencies of a particular sound (as a noise or a speech sound)


a. : an intergrading array in which the constituent elements are usually not sharply isolable : a continuous sequence or range

a wide spectrum of opinions — Eugene Rabinowitch

the total spectrum of valid inference — J.T.Clark

considerable deposits of a spectrum of minerals ranging from platinum to mica — Smith Hempstone

b. : kinds of life forms associated with a particular situation (as an environmental region or sensitivity to an antibiotic) ; also : a conspectus of such forms

II. noun

1. : mass spectrum

2. : the representation (as a plot) of a spectrum

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.