American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. The smallest angle of incidence at which a light ray passing from one medium to another less refractive medium can be totally reflected from the boundary between the two.
- n. The angle of attack of an airfoil at which airflow abruptly changes, causing changes in the lift and drag of an aircraft.
- n. physics The smallest angle of incidence for which light is totally reflected from a boundary between one medium and a less refractive one
- n. aerodynamics The smallest angle of attack of an airfoil at which lift suddenly decreases and drag suddenly increases
- n. architecture The smallest angle of a ramp or stairs considered uncomfortable or unsafe
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. (Optics) that angle of incidence of a luminous ray at which it is wholly reflected, and no portion of it transmitted. The sine of this angle is the reciprocal of the refractive index of the medium.
- n. the smallest angle of incidence for which light is totally reflected
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