albedo

Albedo refers to how reflective and bright something is. Snow has a high albedo, which is why skiers wear sunglasses and sunscreen.

Technically speaking, the albedo of an object is a ratio. It compares the amount of light hitting the surface of the object to the amount of light that gets reflected back. The more light reflected, the higher the albedo. Scientists often use this word in reference to the surfaces of planets and other reflective objects in the night sky. Albedo comes from a Latin word for “white.”

Definitions of albedo
  1. noun
    the ratio of reflected to incident light
    synonyms: reflective power
    see moresee less
    type of:
    ratio
    the relative magnitudes of two quantities (usually expressed as a quotient)
Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.

SAT/PSAT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

ACT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week