Definitions for PRISMˈprɪz əm

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word PRISM

Princeton's WordNet

  1. prism(noun)

    a polyhedron with two congruent and parallel faces (the bases) and whose lateral faces are parallelograms

  2. prism, optical prism(noun)

    optical device having a triangular shape and made of glass or quartz; used to deviate a beam or invert an image


  1. prism(Noun)

    A polyhedron with parallel ends of the same size and shape, the other faces being parallelogram-shaped sides.

  2. prism(Noun)

    A transparent block in the shape of a prism (typically with triangular ends), used to split or reflect light.

  3. prism(Noun)

    A crystal in which the faces are parallel to the vertical axis.

  4. Origin: prisma, from πρίσμα, from πρίζειν.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Prism(noun)

    a solid whose bases or ends are any similar, equal, and parallel plane figures, and whose sides are parallelograms

  2. Prism(noun)

    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. Prism(noun)

    a form the planes of which are parallel to the vertical axis. See Form, n., 13

  4. Origin: [L. prisma, Gr. pri`sma, fr. pri`zein, pri`ein, to saw: cf. F. prisme.]


  1. Prism

    In optics, a prism is a transparent optical element with flat, polished surfaces that refract light. At least two of the flat surfaces must have an angle between them. The exact angles between the surfaces depend on the application. The traditional geometrical shape is that of a triangular prism with a triangular base and rectangular sides, and in colloquial use "prism" usually refers to this type. Some types of optical prism are not in fact in the shape of geometric prisms. Prisms can be made from any material that is transparent to the wavelengths for which they are designed. Typical materials include glass, plastic and fluorite. A prism can be used to break light up into its constituent spectral colors. Prisms can also be used to reflect light, or to split light into components with different polarizations.

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