What does spectrum mean?

Definitions for spectrum
ˈspɛk trəmspec·trum

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word spectrum.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. spectrumnoun

    an ordered array of the components of an emission or wave

  2. spectrumnoun

    a broad range of related objects or values or qualities or ideas or activities


  1. spectrumnoun

    Specter, apparition.

  2. spectrumnoun

    A range; a continuous, infinite, one-dimensional set, possibly bounded by extremes.

  3. spectrumnoun

    Specifically, a range of colours representing light (electromagnetic radiation) of contiguous frequencies; hence electromagnetic spectrum, visible spectrum, ultraviolet spectrum, etc.

  4. spectrumnoun

    The pattern of absorption or emission of radiation produced by a substance when subjected to energy (radiation, heat, electricity, etc.).

  5. spectrumnoun

    The set of eigenvalues of a matrix.

  6. spectrumnoun

    Of a bounded linear operator A, the set of scalar values u03BB such that the operator Au03BBI, where I denotes the identity operator, does not have a bounded inverse; intended as a generalisation of the linear algebra sense.

  7. Etymology: From spectrum, from specio. (see scope)

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Spectrumnoun

    An image; a visible form.

    Etymology: Latin.

    This prism had some veins running along within the glass, from the one end to the other, which scattered some of the sun’s light irregularly, but had no sensible effect in encreasing the length of the coloured spectrum. Isaac Newton, Opticks.


  1. Spectrum

    Spectrum is a song by Russian-German electronic music producer Zedd. It features the vocals from American singer Matthew Koma. It was released as a single on June 4, 2012, and serves as the second single from Zedd's debut studio album Clarity. It was written by Koma and Zedd. An extended play of the track – featuring remixes by Armin van Buuren, Arty, Deniz Koyu, as well as Congorock – was released on July 31, 2012. It also features a track titled "Human" (a collaboration with Nicky Romero), which was also released as a single on July 31, 2012. TVXQ's Yunho, Super Junior's Donghae and Eunhyuk, EXO's Kai and Lay and SHINee's Taemin and Minho under the project name S. M. The Performance released a Korean version, featuring the vocals of Taemin, Donghae and Yunho. This version was released on December 30, 2012 by S. M. Entertainment and the proceeds were given to charity. There is also a new remix, which features English vocals by Hatsune Miku, made by the Japanese music group, Livetune, which will be featured in the Japanese release of Zedd's album Clarity. Livetune had originally remixed the song as a fan of Zedd's music and Zedd was impressed with the result of the remix and asked for it to be included in the Japanese release as a bonus track.


  1. spectrum

    A spectrum is a condition or value that is not limited to a specific set of values but can vary, without steps, across a continuum. It can represent a range of different positions, opinions, or choices available between two extreme or different points. This term is used in various fields like physics, where it describes all possible frequencies of light or sound, and in medicine or psychology, to describe a range of symptoms or behaviors, as seen in the 'autism spectrum'.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Spectrumnoun

    an apparition; a specter

  2. Spectrumnoun

    the several colored and other rays of which light is composed, separated by the refraction of a prism or other means, and observed or studied either as spread out on a screen, by direct vision, by photography, or otherwise. See Illust. of Light, and Spectroscope

  3. Spectrumnoun

    a luminous appearance, or an image seen after the eye has been exposed to an intense light or a strongly illuminated object. When the object is colored, the image appears of the complementary color, as a green image seen after viewing a red wafer lying on white paper. Called also ocular spectrum

  4. Etymology: [L. See Specter.]


  1. Spectrum

    A spectrum is a condition that is not limited to a specific set of values but can vary infinitely within a continuum. The word saw its first scientific use within the field of optics to describe the rainbow of colors in visible light when separated using a prism; it has since been applied by analogy to many fields other than optics. Thus, one might talk about the spectrum of political opinion, or the spectrum of activity of a drug, or the autism spectrum. In these uses, values within a spectrum may not be associated with precisely quantifiable numbers or definitions. Such uses imply a broad range of conditions or behaviors grouped together and studied under a single title for ease of discussion. In most modern usages of spectrum there is a unifying theme between extremes at either end. Some older usages of the word did not have a unifying theme, but they led to modern ones through a sequence of events set out below. Modern usages in mathematics did evolve from a unifying theme, but this may be difficult to recognize.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Spectrum

    spek′trum, n. the image of something seen continued after the eyes are closed: the colours of light separated by a prism, and exhibited as spread out on a screen:—pl. Spec′tra.—n. Spec′trograph, an apparatus for photographing a spectrum.—adjs. Spectrograph′ic, -al.—n. Spectrog′raphy, the art of using the spectrograph.—adj. Spectrolog′ical.—adv. Spectrolog′ically.—ns. Spectrol′ogy, the division of physical science that embraces spectrum analysis: demonology; Spectrom′eter, an instrument like a spectroscope, by means of which the angular deviation of a ray of light in passing through a prism can be accurately measured.—adj. Spectromet′ric.—n. Spec′trophōne, an adaptation of the spectroscope, in which, on the principle of the radiophone, perception of a succession of sounds takes the place of observation by the eye.—adj. Spectrophon′ic.—ns. Spec′tro-polar′iscope, a polariscope combined with a spectroscope; Spec′troscope, an instrument for forming and examining spectra of luminous bodies, so as to determine their composition.—adjs. Spectroscōp′ic, -al.—adv. Spectroscōp′ically.—ns. Spec′troscōpist, one skilled in spectroscopy; Spec′troscōpy, the use of the spectroscope and the study of spectrum analysis. [L.,—specĕre, to see.]

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Spectrum

    the name given to coloured and other rays of pure light separated by refraction in its transmission through a prism, as exhibited on a screen in a darkened chamber.

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. spectrum

    The variously coloured image into which a ray of light is divided on being passed through a prism.

Editors Contribution

  1. spectrum

    A variety of color or light.

    The color spectrum is so beautiful when you see the scope and size of it.

    Submitted by MaryC on February 17, 2020  

Suggested Resources

  1. spectrum

    Song lyrics by spectrum -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by spectrum on the Lyrics.com website.

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British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'spectrum' in Nouns Frequency: #1872

Anagrams for spectrum »

  1. cepstrum

  2. crumpets

How to pronounce spectrum?

How to say spectrum in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of spectrum in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of spectrum in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of spectrum in a Sentence

  1. Roger Kay:

    It's aimed directly at the sweet spot on the product spectrum, the place where OEMs [ PC makers ] can still make money. Meanwhile, Microsoft doesn't really take care of end customers and still needs the OEMs to get to market.

  2. Blake Flayton:

    An American Jew is only used to perceiving anti-Semitism as Nazis in Charlottesville carrying tiki torches, or a swastika being spray-painted onto a synagogue wall, or the Christian right saying that Jews killed Jesus Christ. We're not very attuned to and good at recognizing anti-Semitism when it doesn't come from that extreme side of the political spectrum, but we are going to have to get used to it, because that's what's coming here. It's already here.

  3. Sven Ennerst:

    We are pioneering technologies across the automated vehicle spectrum that make roads safer and help trucking companies boost productivity.

  4. Amy Oakes:

    She was diagnosed in first grade after there were some difficulties in the classroom, but there were other components to it -- there was oppositional defiant disorder, there were some [autism] spectrum-like behaviors, and difficulty later on socializing with other children.

  5. Glyn Morgan:

    The support for Ukraine is shared across the British political spectrum -- left and right, political classes and the military-administrative classes... Boris Johnsons departure will have no impact, other than that Boris Johnsons successor will not be as charismatic.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


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"spectrum." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 20 May 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/spectrum>.

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    difficult or impossible to perceive or discern
    A extroversive
    B proprietary
    C indiscernible
    D articulate

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