Definitions

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

  • adj. Of, relating to, resembling, or being a prism.
  • adj. Formed by refraction of light through a prism. Used of a spectrum of light.
  • adj. Brilliantly colored; iridescent.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of or pertaining to a prism; having the form of a prism; containing one or more prisms.
  • adj. Separated or distributed by, or as if by, a transparent prism; formed by a prism; varied or brilliant in color.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Resembling, or pertaining to, a prism.
  • adj. Separated or distributed by a prism; formed by a prism.
  • adj. Same as Orthorhombic.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Of or pertaining to a prism; having the form of a prism.
  • Separated or distributed by, or as if by, a transparent prism; formed by a prism; varied in color: as, a prismatic spectrum; prismatic colors.
  • In anatomy, noting muscles whose fibers run direct and parallel with one another from the point of origin to the point of insertion: correlative with pyramidal, 3, and rhomboidal, 2.

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

  • adj. exhibiting spectral colors formed by refraction of light through a prism
  • adj. of or relating to or resembling or constituting a prism

Etymologies

Greek prīsma, prīsmat-, prism; see prism + -ic.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • Once you accept a few basic concepts — that there are three primary colors and that the same three basic colors exist as rays in prismatic light, that colors are seen because that portion of light is destroyed when it reaches a colored surface, that white (i.e., light) is necessary to see color and black — then you understand that, when the three true primitives are perfectly combined, all rays of light are destroyed and that therefore that combination is the negation of light.

    The Creation of Color in Eighteenth-Century Europe

  • I've said, is not emerald green, as most folks think -- that is, not unless it is seen under what science-folks call the prismatic action of light -- but a dull white that is almost opaque.

    Tom Finch's Monkey and How he Dined with the Admiral

  • I recalled prismatic music-hall posters -- of enormous acreage -- that had been the unnoticed background of my visits to London for years past.

    A Diversity of Creatures

  • Researchers randomly assigned 153 of these children, ages 8 to 13, to wear either single-vision glasses, standard bifocals or so-called prismatic bifocals for two years.

    WN.com - Articles related to Why children need more sleep

  • Each module is made up of what is known as a prismatic cell

    gizmag Emerging Technology Magazine

  • What we need here is prismatic, which is flat cells.

    GigaOM Network

  • A123 and Chrysler developed battery systems that use the same battery cell -- one with a flat shape known as a prismatic cell -- rather than tailoring the cells 'chemistries for each different vehicle.

    Technology Review RSS Feeds

  • At its best, however, her work is truly "prismatic".

    Claire Denis: 'For me, film-making is a journey into the impossible'

  • What kind of prismatic code colors are you trying to foist upon the lens of our viewers?

    Eight Contemporary Artists at the Pop My Cherry Show in Geneva

  • You see the great square chimney; the tiny window-panes, six to a sash, some of them turned by time, not into the purple of Beacon Hill but into a kind of prismatic sheen like oil on water; the bit of classic egg-and-dart border on the door-cap; the aged texture of the weathered clapboard; the graceful arch of the wide woodshed entrance, on the kitchen side; the giant elm rising far above the roof.

    Penguin Persons & Peppermints

Comments

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  • "She left the room, then returned, but I turned sharply away under the impact of the painful discharge of one of the thousand invisible memories which incessantly exploded around me in the darkness: I had noticed that she had brought me cider and cherries, things which a farm-lad had brought out to us in the carriage, at Balbec, "kinds" in which I should have made the most perfect communion, in those days, with the prismatic gleam in shuttered dining-rooms on days of scorching heat."
    --The Captive & The Fugitive by Marcel Proust, translated by C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin, revised by D.J. Enright, p 646 of the Modern Library paperback edition

    February 15, 2010

  • "'All the poetry that the old quarters contain has been squeezed out to the last drop, but if you look at some of the houses that have been built lately for well-to-do tradesmen in the new districts, where the stone is all freshly cut and still to white, don't they seem to rend the torrid midday air of July, at the hour when the shopkeepers go home to lunch in the suburbs, with a cry as sharp and acidulous as the smell of the cherries waiting for the meal to begin in the darkened dining-room, where the prismatic glass knife-rests throw off a multicoloured light as beautiful as the windows of Chartres?'"
    --The Captive & The Fugitive by Marcel Proust, translated by C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin, revised by D.J. Enright, p 218 of the Modern Library paperback edition

    January 11, 2010

  • "But even apart from rare moments such as these, in which suddenly we feel the original entity quiver and resume its form, carve itself out of syllables now dead, if in the dizzy whirl of daily life, in which they serve only the most practical purpose, names have lost all their colour, like a prismatic top that spins too quickly and seems only grey, when, on the other hand, we reflect upon the past in our day-dreams and seek, in order to recapture it, to slacken, to suspend the perpetual motion by which we are borne along, gradually we see once more appear, side by side but entirely distinct from one another, the tints which in the course of our existence have been successively presented to us by a single name."
    --The Guermantes Way by Marcel Proust, translated by C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin, Revised by D.J. Enright, pp 5-6 of the Modern Library paperback edition

    July 13, 2008