Pronunciation: (rā), [key]
1. a narrow beam of light.
2. a gleam or slight manifestation: a ray of hope.
3. a raylike line or stretch of something.
4. light or radiance.
5. a line of sight.
6. Physics, Optics.
a. any of the lines or streams in which light appears to radiate from a luminous body.
b. the straight line normal to the wave front in the propagation of radiant energy.
c. a stream of material particles all moving in the same straight line.
7. Math.
a. one of a system of straight lines emanating from a point.
b. Also called half-line. the part of a straight line considered as originating at a point on the line and as extending in one direction from that point.
8. any of a system of parts radially arranged.
9. Zool.
a. one of the branches or arms of a starfish or other radiate animal.
b. one of the bony or cartilaginous rods in the fin of a fish.
10. Bot.
a. See ray flower.
b. one of the branches of an umbel.
c. See vascular ray.
d. (in certain composite plants) the marginal part of the flower head.
11. of many long, bright streaks radiating from some of the large lunar craters.
12. a prominent upright projection from the circlet of a crown or coronet, having a pointed or ornamented termination.
13. get or grab some rays, relax in the sun, esp. to sunbathe.

1. to emit rays.
2. to issue in rays.

1. to send forth in rays.
2. to throw rays upon; irradiate.
3. to subject to the action of rays, as in radiotherapy.
4. make a radiograph of; x-ray.
5. to furnish with rays or radiating lines.


Pronunciation: (rā), [key]
any of numerous elasmobranch fishes, adapted for life on the sea bottom, having a flattened body and greatly enlarged pectoral fins with the gills on the undersides.


Pronunciation: (rā for 1, 2, 4, 5;for 3), [key]
1. John, 1627?–1705, English naturalist.
2. Man Pronunciation: (man), [key] 1890–1976, U.S. painter and photographer.
3. Sat•ya•jit Pronunciation: (sut'yu-jit), [key] 1921–92, Indian film director.
4. a male given name, form of Raymond.
5. Also,Raye.a female given name, form of Rachel.

Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.

See also:
  • ray (Thesaurus)


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