Undulatory Un"du*la*to*ry (?; 277), a. [Cf. F. ondulatoire.] Moving in the manner of undulations, or waves; resembling the motion of waves, which successively rise or swell rise or swell and fall; pertaining to a propagated alternating motion, similar to that of waves. [1913 Webster]

{Undulatory theory}, or {Wave theory} (of light) (Opt.), that theory which regards the various phenomena of light as due to undulations in an ethereal medium, propagated from the radiant with immense, but measurable, velocities, and producing different impressions on the retina according to their amplitude and frequency, the sensation of brightness depending on the former, that of color on the latter. The undulations are supposed to take place, not in the direction of propagation, as in the air waves constituting sound, but transversely, and the various phenomena of refraction, polarization, interference, etc., are attributable to the different affections of these undulations in different circumstances of propagation. It is computed that the frequency of the undulations corresponding to the several colors of the spectrum ranges from 458 millions of millions per second for the extreme red ray, to 727 millions of millions for the extreme violet, and their lengths for the same colors, from the thirty-eight thousandth to the sixty thousandth part of an inch. The theory of ethereal undulations is applicable not only to the phenomena of light, but also to those of heat. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • undulatory — index circuitous, tortuous (bending) Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • undulatory — [un′jə lə tôr΄ē, un′dyələ tôr΄ē] adj. 1. of, caused by, or characterized by undulations 2. having a wavelike form or motion; undulating …   English World dictionary

  • undulatory — undulate ► VERB 1) move with a smooth wave like motion. 2) have a wavy form or outline. DERIVATIVES undulation noun undulatory adjective. ORIGIN from Latin undulatus, from unda a wave …   English terms dictionary

  • undulatory — adjective Date: 1728 of or relating to undulation ; moving in or resembling waves ; undulating …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • undulatory — /un jeuh leuh tawr ee, tohr ee, un dyeuh , deuh /, adj. 1. Also, undular. moving in undulations. 2. having the form or appearance of waves. Also, undulative /un jeuh lay tiv, un dyeuh , deuh /. [1720 30; UNDULATE + ORY1] * * * …   Universalium

  • undulatory — adjective That undulates, or that causes undulations …   Wiktionary

  • undulatory — un·du·la·to·ry || ÊŒn djÊŠlÉ™trɪ adj. fluctuating, undulating; having an undulating form or appearance …   English contemporary dictionary

  • undulatory — a. Undulating, waving, wavy …   New dictionary of synonyms

  • undulatory — un·du·la·to·ry …   English syllables

  • undulatory — /ˈʌndʒəleɪtəri/ (say unjuhlaytuhree) adjective 1. moving in undulations. 2. having the form or appearance of waves. Also, undulative …   Australian English dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”