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In the spirit of the What is a Word™/Phrase™ series started by JLee, a special brand of Phrase™ and Word™ puzzles.

If a word conforms to a special rule, I call it a Spectral Word™.
Use the examples below to find the rule.

$$ \def\Pad{\P{0.0}} \def\Title{\textbf{ Spectral }} \def\S#1#2{\Space{#1}{20px}{#2px}}\def\P#1{\V{#1em}}\ \def\V#1{\S{#1}{9}} \def\T{\Title\textbf{Words}^™\Pad}\def\NT{\Pad\textbf{Not}\T\ }\displaystyle \smash{\lower{29px}\bbox[yellow]{\phantom{\rlap{rubio.2017.02.04}\S{6px}{0} \begin{array}{cc}\Pad\T&\NT\\\end{array}}}}\atop\def\V#1{\S{#1}{5}} \begin{array}{|c|c|}\hline\Pad\T&\NT\\\hline \text{ACTION}&\text{REACTION}\\\hline \text{BERRY}&\text{OLIVE}\\\hline \text{FIELD}&\text{YARD}\\\hline \text{HAMMER}&\text{GAVEL}\\\hline \text{HEAD}&\text{BRAIN}\\\hline \text{HOUSE}&\text{IGLOO}\\\hline \text{PRINT}&\text{VIEW}\\\hline \text{RAFT}&\text{WHEEL}\\\hline \text{SICKNESS}&\text{OVERHEATED}\\\hline \text{STONE}&\text{BOW}\\\hline \text{THROAT}&\text{NOSTRIL}\\\hline \text{TIN}&\text{IRON}\\\hline \text{TOOTH}&\text{ARM}\\\hline \text{WOOD}&\text{RAIN}\\\hline \end{array}$$

CSV version:

Spectral Words™,Not Spectral Words™
ACTION,REACTION
BERRY,OLIVE
FIELD,YARD
HAMMER,GAVEL
HEAD,BRAIN
HOUSE,IGLOO
PRINT,VIEW
RAFT,WHEEL
SICKNESS,OVERHEATED
STONE,BOW
THROAT,NOSTRIL
TIN,IRON
TOOTH,ARM
WOOD,RAIN

The puzzle satisfies the series' inbuilt assumption, that each word can be tested for whether it is a Spectral Word™ without relying on the other words.

These are not the only examples of Spectral Words™, many more exist.

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I think I have the answer:

A spectral word is one that can be prefixed by a colour of the rainbow to produce another word:

action → REDaction
berry → BLUEberry
field → GREENfield
hammer → YELLOWhammer
head → REDhead
house → GREENhouse
print → BLUEprint
raft → REDraft
sickness → GREENsickness
stone → REDstone
throat → REDthroat
tin → INDIGOtin
tooth → BLUEtooth
wood → REDwood

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  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Looks good, but what about REDneck? $\endgroup$ – M Oehm Feb 20 '17 at 12:00
  • $\begingroup$ @MOehm That is a very good question. $\endgroup$ – squeamish ossifrage Feb 20 '17 at 12:18
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    $\begingroup$ What's greensickness? $\endgroup$ – Craig McMahon Feb 20 '17 at 13:35
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    $\begingroup$ It's always difficult to come up with a title that conveys some meaning and yet doesn't point to directly into the right direction. As for the pattern: look at the first letters of the Not Spectral Words ;) $\endgroup$ – Levieux Feb 20 '17 at 14:10
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    $\begingroup$ @Levieux: looks safe now. :) Well done on the extra hint in the NSWs, which I failed to spot. $\endgroup$ – M Oehm Feb 20 '17 at 16:05

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