One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A flash or sparkle of light.‘scintillations of diamond-hard light’
glint, glistening, flicker, twinkle, sparkle, flash, flare, glare, gleam, glow, glimmer, lustre, glitter, dancing, blinking, winkingView synonyms
- ‘What a whirl, what a swirl, what a syncopating scintillation of networking, flirting and aerobic socializing this week mixes up!’
- ‘It is continuing the six-stringed scintillation that originated on the band's first effort.’
- ‘The dragon shattered into the shadows as the scintillation of explosive elemental forces raced out and away from the impact.’
- ‘I climb here, gazing round, above, beneath, wholly encompassed by the ocean's scene; and there I send the gods supreme oblation, scattered beyond in jeweled scintillation over the depths, disdainful and serene.’
- ‘It's just that they sound almost too well-rehearsed for this kind of repertoire: Russian passion meeting Germanic scintillation not quite equalling true jazz.’
- 1.1mass noun The process or state of emitting flashes of light.
- ‘There is an oscillation which causes an impression of scintillation over the area.’
- 1.2Physics A small flash of visible or ultraviolet light emitted by fluorescence in a phosphor when struck by a charged particle or high-energy photon.
shine, lustre, gloss, sheenView synonyms
- ‘I loved to hold its face close to mine in the dark and watch the scintillations produced every time a radium nucleus decayed.’
- ‘Unlike other carbon-dating methods that monitor scintillations produced by radioactive decay, the TAMS method counts the actual number of carbon isotope atoms in a sample.’
- ‘More recently, astrophysicists explained the intraday variability in luminosity as a scintillation in the interstellar medium rather than rapid quasar rotation.’
- 1.3Astronomy mass noun The twinkling of the stars, caused by the earth's atmosphere diffracting starlight unevenly.
- ‘Light and radio waves get refracted in a phenomenon known as ionospheric scintillation (similar to the way light is refracted by water, such that a pencil looks bent when it is halfsubmerged in a glass of water).’
- ‘They were looking for a differential shift of less than one second of arc; even on a perfectly still night, the amount of scintillation or blurring shown by stars due to atmospheric turbulence is of this order.’
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