Ray Ray, n. [OF. rai, F. rais, fr. L. radius a beam or ray, staff, rod, spoke of a wheel. Cf. {Radius}.] 1. One of a number of lines or parts diverging from a common point or center, like the radii of a circle; as, a star of six rays. [1913 Webster]

2. (Bot.) A radiating part of a flower or plant; the marginal florets of a compound flower, as an aster or a sunflower; one of the pedicels of an umbel or other circular flower cluster; radius. See {Radius}. [1913 Webster]

3. (Zo["o]l.) (a) One of the radiating spines, or cartilages, supporting the fins of fishes. (b) One of the spheromeres of a radiate, especially one of the arms of a starfish or an ophiuran. [1913 Webster]

4. (Physics) (a) A line of light or heat proceeding from a radiant or reflecting point; a single element of light or heat propagated continuously; as, a solar ray; a polarized ray. (b) One of the component elements of the total radiation from a body; any definite or limited portion of the spectrum; as, the red ray; the violet ray. See Illust. under {Light}. [1913 Webster]

5. Sight; perception; vision; -- from an old theory of vision, that sight was something which proceeded from the eye to the object seen. [1913 Webster]

All eyes direct their rays On him, and crowds turn coxcombs as they gaze. --Pope. [1913 Webster]

6. (Geom.) One of a system of diverging lines passing through a point, and regarded as extending indefinitely in both directions. See {Half-ray}. [1913 Webster]

{Bundle of rays}. (Geom.) See {Pencil of rays}, below.

{Extraordinary ray} (Opt.), that one of two parts of a ray divided by double refraction which does not follow the ordinary law of refraction.

{Ordinary ray} (Opt.) that one of the two parts of a ray divided by double refraction which follows the usual or ordinary law of refraction.

{Pencil of rays} (Geom.), a definite system of rays.

{Ray flower}, or {Ray floret} (Bot.), one of the marginal flowers of the capitulum in such composite plants as the aster, goldenrod, daisy, and sunflower. They have an elongated, strap-shaped corolla, while the corollas of the disk flowers are tubular and five-lobed.

{Ray point} (Geom.), the common point of a pencil of rays.

{R["o]ntgen ray} (r[~e]nt"g[e^]n r[=a]`) (Phys.), a kind of ray generated in a very highly exhausted vacuum tube by the electrical discharge; now more commonly called {X-ray}. It is composed of electromagnetic radiation of wavelength shorter than that of ultraviolet light, and is capable of passing through many bodies opaque to light, and producing photographic and fluorescent effects by which means pictures showing the internal structure of opaque objects are made, called radiographs, sciagraphs, X-ray photographs, radiograms, or X-rays. So called from the discoverer, W. C. R["o]ntgen.

{X ray}, the R["o]ntgen ray; -- so called by its discoverer because of its enigmatical character, x being an algebraic symbol for an unknown quantity. [1913 Webster +PJC]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

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  • RAY — Antique cité iranienne au sud est de l’agglomération téhéranaise, près de la ville moderne de Shahr e Rey, Ray (Rayy chez les géographes arabes, ou encore Rey, ou Rai) est située à l’affleurement d’une abondante nappe phréatique. L’occupation du… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

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  • Ray — Ray, n. [F. raie, L. raia. Cf. {Roach}.] (Zo[ o]l.) (a) Any one of numerous elasmobranch fishes of the order Rai[ae], including the skates, torpedoes, sawfishes, etc. (b) In a restricted sense, any of the broad, flat, narrow tailed species, as… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • ray — [reı] n [Sense: 1 5; Date: 1300 1400; : Old French; Origin: rai, from Latin radius; RADIUS] [Sense: 6; Date: 1300 1400; : Old French; Origin: raie, from Latin raia] 1.) a straight narrow beam of light from the sun or moon ▪ …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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