Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Of or resembling a specter; ghostly.
  • adj. Of, relating to, or produced by a spectrum.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Having the appearance of a spectre; ghostly.
  • adj. Of, or pertaining to, spectres.
  • adj. Of, or pertaining to, spectra.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to a specter; ghosty.
  • adj. Of or pertaining to the spectrum; made by the spectrum

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Of or pertaining to a specter; resembling or having the aspect of a specter; ghostlike: ghostly.
  • Pertaining to ocular spectra, or pertaining to the solar, prismatic, or diffraction spectrum; exhibiting the hues of the prismatic spectrum; produced by the aid of the spectrum: as, spectral colors; spectral analysis.
  • In zoology, like or likened to a specter or apparition; suggestive of a ghost in any way: as, the spectral bat; spectral shrimps; spectral insects.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. resembling or characteristic of a phantom
  • adj. of or relating to a spectrum

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • These are the Phenomena, or visual Appearances, of this wide-working terrestrial world: which truly is all phenomenal, what they call spectral; and never rests at any moment; one never at any moment can know why.

    A Book of English Prose Part II, Arranged for Secondary and High Schools

  • These are of the Phenomena, or visual Appearances, of this wide-working terrestrial world: which truly is all phenomenal, what they call spectral; and never rests at any moment; one never at any moment can know why.

    The French Revolution

  • Along with behind-the-scenes footage of professionals in darkened basements, there are conversations with soundtrack composers, animators and sound editors as well as "acousticians" who use software they describe as a "spectral de-noising tool".

    Internet picks of the week

  • In addition, excitation of blue and cyan fluorescent proteins is most efficient in spectral regions that are not commonly used, so specialized filter sets and laser sources are required.

    Archive 2005-10-01

  • Only out of a deep preference for the phantoms of the mind have we felt impelled to find mechanical techniques for remaking the world itself in spectral form (Castle 137).

    Smoke and Mirrors: Internalizing the Magic Lantern show in _Vilette_

  • So the light kept going in spectral balance from dense light to split and back to dense light and split, in spectral cycles infinitely repeated.

    Harry Martinson - Poetry

  • In addition to the more or less complicated structure which owing to the peculiar internal nature of luminous bodies is found in spectral lines, it is also possible to split them under the influence of a magnetic force into several more or less closely packed components.

    Nobel Prize in Physics 1907 - Presentation Speech

  • In 1932, Butenandt was able, from observations made in spectral analysis, and especially on the basis of the then established correct formula of cholesterol to draw up the formulae of the chemical structure of oestrone and oestriol.

    Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1939 - Presentation Speech

  • His tastes were for what he called the "grim and grisly;" whilst Cathy demanded incessant tales of pink or blue ghosts, considering that if they were all arrayed in spectral white they would look both ghastly and monotonous.

    A Christmas Cake in Four Quarters

  • In this column I'd like to discuss a concept I call spectral management, which refers to a process for allocating parts of the spectrum to different instruments and voices.

    TV Technology

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Comments

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  • Names are so interesting--I'd never made that (creepy) connection.

    This is interesting, too: Wordnik's reverse dictionary on the spectral shrimp page points to spectacled, where the Century has this to say: "Spectable or spectacular; being “a sight to behold”; spectral: as, the spectacled shrimp." That makes more sense to me--when I go to Go0gle for an image search for spectral shrimp, I mostly find references to the mantis shrimp. Don't get me wrong, I adore mantis shrimp, but all the sites mention the mantis shrimp's ability to see light all over the spectrum--they're spectacular, but they're the last shrimp to need spectacles. (Besides, they're not really shrimp at all.)

    February 18, 2014

  • Vampyrus spectrum,does phil spector remind you of spectre

    February 18, 2014

  • I like this bit from the Century: "In zoology, like or likened to a specter or apparition; suggestive of a ghost in any way: as, the spectral bat; spectral shrimps; spectral insects."

    February 18, 2014

  • Full text of They That Dwell In Shadow.

    September 23, 2009

  • WordNet's definitions make me wonder -- what's the relation between a spectrum and a specter? Clearly, things that we see...

    Also, awesome poem.

    September 23, 2009


  • They that dwell in shadow
    Perpetually roam
    In leagues of spectral meadow,
    By phantom miles of foam.
    Their lives are very weary,
    And yet they cannot die,
    Leave their sea-beaches dreary,
    Or change that bitter sky.

    - Howard Mumford Jones, 'They That Dwell In Shadow'.

    September 23, 2009