• WordNet 3.6
    • n prism optical device having a triangular shape and made of glass or quartz; used to deviate a beam or invert an image
    • n prism a polyhedron with two congruent and parallel faces (the bases) and whose lateral faces are parallelograms
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Prism (Crystallog) A form the planes of which are parallel to the vertical axis. See Form n., 13.
    • Prism (Geom) A solid whose bases or ends are any similar, equal, and parallel plane figures, and whose sides are parallelograms.
    • Prism (Opt) A transparent body, with usually three rectangular plane faces or sides, and two equal and parallel triangular ends or bases; -- used in experiments on refraction, dispersion, etc.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n prism In geometry, a solid whose bases or ends are any similar, equal, and parallel plane polygons, and whose sides are parallelograms. Prisms are triangular, square, pentagonal, etc., according as the figures of their ends are triangles, squares, pentagons, etc.
    • n prism Specifically An optical instrument consisting of a transparent, medium so arranged that the surfaces which receive and transmit light form an angle with each other: usually of a triangular form with well-polished sides, which meet in three parallel lines, and made of glass, rock-salt, or quartz, or a liquid, as carbon disulphid, contained in a prismatic receptacle formed of plates of glass. A ray of light falling upon one of the sides of a prism is refracted (see refraction) or bent from its original direction at an angle depending upon its own wave-length, the angle of incidence, the angle of the prism, and the material of which the prism is made. This angle of deviation, as it is called, has a definite minimum (minimum deviation) value when the angle of incidence is equal to the angle of emergence. The angle of deviation increases as the wave-length of the light-ray diminishes; consequently, if a pencil of white light falls upon the prism, the different rays are separated or dispersed, and a spectrum is the result. (See spectrum.) Prisms are hence used in spectrum analysis to decompose light, so that the rays of which it is made up may be examined.
    • n prism In crystallography, a form consisting of planes, usually four, six, eight, or twelve, which are parallel to the vertical axis. If the planes intersect the lateral axes at the assumed unit distances for the given species, it is called a unit prism; otherwise it may be described, according to the position of the planes, as a macroprism, brachyprism, orthoprism, or clinoprism. In the triclinic system the form includes two planes only, and it is hence called a hemiprism. In the tetragonal system the unit prism is sometimes called a protoprism, or prism of the first order, and the diametral prism, whose planes are parallel to a lateral axis, a deuteroprism, or prism of the second order; these names are also used in an analogous manner in the hexagonal system.
    • n prism In canals, a part of the water-space in a straight section of a canal, considered as a parallelepiped.
    • n prism In weaving, same as pattern-box
    • n prism A form of illuminator consisting of a prism with two convex surfaces, by which the light is brought to a focus upon the object.
    • n prism According to some authors any form having two pairs of parallel faces is called a prism; in this sense the term includes the domes of the orthorhombic system (this name being then restricted to a form having two faces only intersecting in an edge) and the hemipyramids of the monoclinic system.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Prism prizm (geom.) a solid whose ends are similar, equal, and parallel planes, and whose sides are parallelograms:
    • n Prism prizm (opt.) a solid glass, triangular-shaped body, used for resolving rays of light into their separate colours
    • ***


  • Louis Fischer
    Louis Fischer
    “Biography is history seen through the prism of a person.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. prisma, Gr. pri`sma, fr. pri`zein pri`ein, to saw: cf. F. prisme,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L.,—Gr. prisma, -atos.


In literature:

It crystallizes in prisms which melt at 36 deg.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 7, Slice 6" by Various
For greater convenience, the prism may be placed on a stand on the table, made to turn round on an axis.
"Endless Amusement" by Unknown
The lava shrinks on cooling and forms prisms.
"Earth and Sky Every Child Should Know" by Julia Ellen Rogers
How does a ray of light get through a prism?
"The Handbook of Conundrums" by Edith B. Ordway
Depending from its center a huge chandelier dangled glittering prisms of glass.
"Ewing\'s Lady" by Harry Leon Wilson
I suppose it's proper to begin with prunes and prisms.
"A Daughter of the Union" by Lucy Foster Madison
Pushkin himself speaks, in taking leave, of having seen the unfettered march of his novel in a magic prism.
"An Outline of Russian Literature" by Maurice Baring
It crystallizes in prisms, having the odour and taste of peppermint; it melts at 42 deg.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 5, Slice 2" by Various
The stars looked down, blinking sleepily through various coloured prisms.
"The White Plumes of Navarre" by Samuel Rutherford Crockett
This is effected by a series of prisms or reflecting surfaces that are cast upon the panes of glass.
"Nature's Miracles, Volume 1" by Elisha Gray

In poetry:

No word. The sparkle aches
In cups of diamond-spar,
That prism the light of ruddy white
In royal wines of war.
"Death In Life" by Madison Julius Cawein
Thus in truth, and not in dreaming,
Life will blossom to the full,
Unto love's eyes all things seeming
Prism'd through the beautiful.
"Reality" by Walter Richard Cassels
Miss Prism, having brewed her tea,
Saw Charles, her fortune, in the cup;
A girl, too wise for witchery,
Saw Charles and drank him up.
"Tea Leaves" by Benjamin Musser
Through the sea's crust of prisms looking up
Into the run of light above the swellm,
And down a fathom, down a fathom more
Into the darkness closing like a shell.
"Sea Burial" by John Anthony Ciardi
She had made a plan, and her spirits danced.
After all, she had only glanced
At that wonderful snake, and she must know
Just what hues made the creature throw
Those splashes and sprays
Of prismed rays.
"The Book Of Hours Of Sister Clotilde" by Amy Lowell
He stands above all worldly schism,
And, gazing over life's abysm,
Beholds within the starry range
Of heaven laws of death and change,
That, through his soul's prophetic prism,
Are turned to rainbows wild and strange.
"The Poet" by Madison Julius Cawein

In news:

Pop Pistol 's 'Animal Prisms'.
A prism is a lens that has an apex (thinnest point) and a base (thickest point).
Prism 's (Booth 641) flagship MIS, WIN 2011, is a software suite with up.
Prism QTMS (Booth 641) has a long history of excellence in data.
I had heard the term PRISM concert but had only a vague idea of what that means.
USAF? Prism Brass to perform in St C.
Prism Manufacturing Group of Port Washington has entered into an agreement to acquire the assets of Barton Precision Components of West Bend.
New Boundary Technologies (formerly Lanovation) has released Prism Deploy.
Prism Clears Up Deployment.
Policies seen through partisan prism , study finds.
Houghton College presents sixth annual 'Christmas Prism '.
Last year's "Christmas Prism " concert.
Houghton College is hosting the sixth annual "Christmas Prism " Dec 7 to 9 in Houghton, as well as Rochester and Buffalo.
Century Link Prism happy customers.
Century Link Prism happy customers Take a test drive Fun for everyone Moe's brought the food.

In science:

The third possibility is the negative refraction by a prism of LHMs.
About negative refraction and left handed materials
Fig. 3(c). A plane wave is incident to the horizontal side of the prism.
About negative refraction and left handed materials
The measurements have adopted the prism scenario described in Fig. 3(c).
About negative refraction and left handed materials
In Ref. , two prisms of the composite materials are used.
About negative refraction and left handed materials
Lastly but not least, we address the prism scenario.
About negative refraction and left handed materials