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Priscoan aeon
Priscoan eon
Prism glass
prism spectroscope
prism telescope
Prismatic borax
Prismatic cleavage
Prismatic colors
Prismatic compass
Prismatic spectrum

Prism definitions

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

PRISM, n. [Low L. prisma; Gr. to cut with a saw, to press or strain.] A solid whose bases or ends are any similar, equal and parallel plane figures, and whose sides are parallelograms.
A prism of glass is one bounded by two equal and parallel triangular ends and three plain and well polished sides which meet in three parallel lines, running from the three angles of one end to the three angles of the other end.

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

1: a polyhedron with two congruent and parallel faces (the bases) and whose lateral faces are parallelograms
2: optical device having a triangular shape and made of glass or quartz; used to deviate a beam or invert an image [syn: prism, optical prism]

Merriam Webster's

noun Etymology: Late Latin prismat-, prisma, from Greek, literally, anything sawn, from priein to saw Date: 1570 1. a polyhedron with two polygonal faces lying in parallel planes and with the other faces parallelograms 2. a. a transparent body that is bounded in part by two nonparallel plane faces and is used to refract or disperse a beam of light b. a prism-shaped decorative glass luster 3. a crystal form whose faces are parallel to one axis; especially one whose faces are parallel to the vertical axis 4. a medium that distorts, slants, or colors whatever is viewed through it

Oxford Reference Dictionary

n. 1 a solid geometric figure whose two ends are similar, equal, and parallel rectilinear figures, and whose sides are parallelograms. 2 a transparent body in this form, usu. triangular with refracting surfaces at an acute angle with each other, which separates white light into a spectrum of colours. Derivatives: prismal adj. Etymology: LL prisma f. Gk prisma prismatos thing sawn f. prizo to saw

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Prism Prism (pr[i^]z'm), n. [L. prisma, Gr. pri`sma, fr. pri`zein, pri`ein, to saw: cf. F. prisme.] 1. (Geom.) A solid whose bases or ends are any similar, equal, and parallel plane figures, and whose sides are parallelograms. Note: Prisms of different forms are often named from the figure of their bases; as, a triangular prism, a quadrangular prism, a rhombic prism, etc. 2. (Opt.) A transparent body, with usually three rectangular plane faces or sides, and two equal and parallel triangular ends or bases; -- used in experiments on refraction, dispersion, etc. 3. (Crystallog.) A form the planes of which are parallel to the vertical axis. See Form, n., 13. Achromatic prism (Opt.), a prism composed usually of two prisms of different transparent substances which have unequal dispersive powers, as two different kinds of glass, especially flint glass and crown glass, the difference of dispersive power being compensated by giving them different refracting angles, so that, when placed together so as to have opposite relative positions, a ray of light passed through them is refracted or bent into a new position, but is free from color. Nicol's prism, Nicol prism. [So called from Wm. Nicol, of Edinburgh, who first proposed it.] (Opt.) An instrument for experiments in polarization, consisting of a rhomb of Iceland spar, which has been bisected obliquely at a certain angle, and the two parts again joined with transparent cement, so that the ordinary image produced by double refraction is thrown out of the field by total reflection from the internal cemented surface, and the extraordinary, or polarized, image alone is transmitted.

Collin's Cobuild Dictionary

(prisms) A prism is a block of clear glass or plastic which separates the light passing through it into different colours. N-COUNT

Moby Thesaurus

achromatic lens, astigmatic lens, burning glass, camera, coated lens, concave lens, concavo-convex lens, condenser, convex lens, eyeglass, eyepiece, glass, hand lens, lens, magnifier, magnifying glass, meniscus, object glass, objective, objective prism, ocular, reader, reading glass, telephoto lens, toric lens, varifocal lens, zoom lens


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