Definition of diffract in English:



[with object]Physics
  • Cause to undergo diffraction.

    ‘experiments found that a beam of electrons could be diffracted like light’
    ‘diffracted X-rays’
    • ‘Alternating dark and light parallel lines on the detector mark where columns of silicon atoms diffract the electrons.’
    • ‘So as the single photon's wave function passes through the slits it is diffracted and interferes with itself.’
    • ‘In 1912, Max von Laue predicted that the spacing of crystal layers is small enough to diffract light of the appropriate wavelength.’
    • ‘You wouldn't see the rainbow effect if you used two reflecting surfaces an inch apart because that distance too large to diffract visible light.’
    • ‘His lab has developed a chip device that diffracts light in the presence of certain antibodies.’


Early 19th century: from Latin diffract- ‘broken in pieces’, from the verb diffringere, from dis- ‘away, from’ + frangere ‘to break’.