from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Lacking rays.
  • adjective Lacking light.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Without rays or radiance; unillumined; lightless; dark; somber; gloomy.
  • In botany and zoology, having no rays or ray-like parts.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Destitute of rays; hence, dark; not illuminated; blind

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Lacking rays
  • adjective Lightless, gloomy
  • adjective botany Lacking florets

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

  • adjective having no parts resembling rays; not having ray flowers


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • A few, however, throw off only b-particles, while some are "rayless", i.e. undergo transformation without the expulsion of high-speed

    Ernest Rutherford - Nobel Lecture

  • Possessed of more than a cursory knowledge of astronomy, he took a sick man's pleasure in speculating as to the dwellers on the unseen worlds of those incredibly remote suns, to haunt whose houses of light, life came forth, a shy visitant, from the rayless crypts of matter.


  • Next, the Vision! next the Morning, after rayless nights and days,

    The Voyage of Magellan

  • I have no doubt they could see me in that rayless obscurity, and they did not seem to have any fear of me apart from the light.

    The Time Machine, by H. G. Wells

  • She bade them adieu blithely; but the thoughts engendered by the invitation stood before her as sorrowful and rayless ghosts which could not be laid.

    The Hand of Ethelberta

  • There he was, living or dead behind the mantle of that rayless night, and there he must remain at least until I could summon our fellow men to his assistance.

    First Men in the Moon

  • They were both rayless and strangely — lightless; they threw no shadows nor did their lambency lessen the dimness.

    The Metal Monster

  • As the ends of the bars radiated into the annealing mist I saw the tentacles creep closer and ever closer to the rayless flame through which the mist flew.

    The Metal Monster

  • The sun was setting red and rayless, with a play of many lights and tints, over the landscape up to the snow-line on the Sierra.

    Familiar Spanish Travels

  • And where they mingled, where they crossed, flamed out suddenly immense rayless orbs; palpitant for an instant, then dissolving in spiralling, feathery spray of pallid emerald incandescences.

    The Metal Monster


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