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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ As a result they diffract X-rays diffusely.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Diffract \Dif*fract"\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Diffracted; p. pr. & vb. n. Diffracting.] [L. diffractus, p. p. of diffringere to break in pieces; dif- = dis- + frangere to break. See Fracture.] To break or separate into parts; to deflect, or decompose by deflection, a? rays of light.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1803, perhaps a back-formation from diffraction. Related: Diffracted; diffracting.


vb. 1 (context transitive English) To cause diffraction 2 (context intransitive English) To undergo diffraction


v. undergo diffraction; "laser light diffracts electrons"

Usage examples of "diffract".

In realistic situations, this diffracted starlight is much stronger than the light from planets around the star, and because of diffraction effects a circular disk is not useful as an occulter in searching for extrasolar planets.

We think we know, we have our own truth concerning them, and yet, reading Kundera, that truth diffracts and breaks up into several relative truths and restores to each of the words its depth of polysemic possibilities.

The real football reason, in all its inevitable real-reason banality, was that, over the course of weeks of dawns of watching the autosprinklers and the Pep Squad (which really did practice at dawn) practices, Orin had developed a horrible schoolboy-grade crush, complete with dilated pupils and weak knees, for a certain big-haired sophomore baton-twirler he watched twirl and strut from a distance through the diffracted spectrum of the plumed sprinklers, all the way across the field's dewy turf, a twirler who'd attended a few of the All-Athletic-Team mixers Orin and his strabismic B.

Soon another greatflower hove into view, this time with fuller petals, diffracting sunlight in ways Renna excitedly described as "holographic.

Broken rainbows spilled from clusters of glass, the pendants scored with fine, diffracting lines.

The first result of air venting into space was that the light went flat: there was no longer a diffracting atmosphere to soften and spread the illumination.

Sometimes the African sun sneaks over the horizon like an old lion on the prowl, the mists diffracting its rays into a mane.

Green's receding at a run off up the little streetlet into a glare of highbeams that diffracts in the clouds of Gately's breath, so even as Gately walks briskly254 in Green's leather-smelling backwash toward a rising hubbub of curses and Lenz's high-speed voice and Thrale's glass-shattering cries and Henderson and Willis talking shit angrily to somebody and the sound of Joelle v.

Offspring of the early instrument packets shot off to Earth's neighboring planets to analyze and report back by radio on their life forms, it had also done away with much of the time and tedious labor cost needed to map a gene pattern when all the researchers had to work with before its advent were bits of absorbent paper and a photographic plate exposed to a diffracted X-ray.

The poem's clicks and squeals diffracted through the cave's grottoes at the same moment they first resonated in his skull.

The poem’s clicks and squeals diffracted through the cave’s grottoes at the same moment they first resonated in his skull.

The sound waves from the nearest sounds were bending or diffracting over the ridge, greatly reducing their sound intensity.