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diffraction (n.)

in optics, "the spreading of light or deflection of its rays," 1670s, from French diffraction (17c.) or directly from Modern Latin diffractionem (nominative diffractio), noun of action from past-participle stem of Latin diffringere "break apart in pieces," from dis- "apart" (see dis-) + frangere "to break" (from PIE root *bhreg- "to break").

Origin and meaning of diffraction

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Definitions of diffraction

diffraction (n.)
when light passes sharp edges or goes through narrow slits the rays are deflected and produce fringes of light and dark bands;
From wordnet.princeton.edu