One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Of or like a ghost.‘a spectral, menacing face’
ghostly, wraithlike, shadowy, phantom, incorporeal, insubstantial, disembodied, unearthly, other-worldlyView synonyms
- ‘Is she scared of conducting a ghost walk on the busiest night of the spectral calendar?’
- ‘The headlights cast an eerie spectral glow on the thick glades, the ever-imposing wall of pine that kept the highway embalmed from time itself.’
- ‘The night music of the third movement flickered with spectral glissandos and eerie harmonics.’
- ‘Is there a spectral patron at The Sandrock?’
- ‘It's brought the city welcome publicity hot on the spectral heels of the Ghost Festival.’
- ‘Haunted Land takes us from pre-history to modern times, from Shamanism, through the wild hunt of Europe, to witches, werewolves and vampires and ends with road ghosts, spectral figures and phantom hitch-hikers.’
- ‘Present castle incumbent Peter Frost-Pennington is a stoic, sensible Scot, who likes to keep an open mind on spectral matters, but readily admits a recent flurry in phantom phenomena has been pretty good for business.’
Early 19th century: from spectre + -al.
Of or concerning spectra or the spectrum.
- ‘Little is known about this, but either or both of the quantity and spectral quality of light could conceivably be significant in various ways.’
- ‘The patterns to be copied and the blocks themselves are not finely detailed and the spectral differences between red and white sections are quite large.’
- ‘The principal steps in obtaining the spectral transmittance of specimens from these pictures are as follows.’
- ‘A laser is the generator of intense coherent, electromagnetic radiation in the spectral range between ultra violet and infrared wavelengths.’
- ‘The duration of reflectance spectral acquisition was less than 1 second during which the light source of the bronchoscope was switched off.’
Mid 19th century: from spectrum + -al.
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