from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To undergo or cause to undergo diffraction.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To cause diffraction
  • v. To undergo diffraction

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To break or separate into parts; to deflect, or decompose by deflection, a� rays of light.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To break into parts; specifically, in optics, to break up, as a beam of light, by deflecting it from a right line; deflect.
  • In lichenology, broken into distinct areoles separated by chinks.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. undergo diffraction


Back-formation from diffraction.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)


  • These air bubbles diffract light into colors that reflect back in a flash of iridescence.


  • We also saw that quantum particles behave like waves—electrons, atoms, and molecules diffract around obstacles and form interference patterns.

    How to Teach Physics to Your Dog

  • Material particles have wave nature and can diffract around objects.

    How to Teach Physics to Your Dog

  • On the right, a wave with a long wavelength encounters an opening comparable to the wavelength, and the waves diffract through a large range of directions.

    How to Teach Physics to Your Dog

  • Following the experiments of Davisson and Germer and Thomson, scientists showed that all subatomic particles behave like waves: beams of protons and neutrons will diffract off samples of atoms in exactly the same way that electrons do.

    How to Teach Physics to Your Dog

  • Similarly, if sound waves encounter an obstacle like a chair or a tree, they will diffract around it, provided the object is not too much larger than the wavelength.

    How to Teach Physics to Your Dog

  • As a result, the waves diffract by a large amount, which is why we can hear sounds even around tight corners.

    How to Teach Physics to Your Dog

  • This is why nobody has ever seen a dog diffract around a tree; nor are we likely to see it any time soon.

    How to Teach Physics to Your Dog

  • A dog can hear a potato chip hitting the kitchen floor from the living room because sound waves diffract through the kitchen door and around corners.

    How to Teach Physics to Your Dog

  • For example if two people stand back-to-back in an open field with no large objects to reflect or diffract the sound waves, they can still hold a conversation.

    Optics basics: What is a wave? Part III: Diffraction « Skulls in the Stars


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