adjective al·bes·cent \al-ˈbe-sənt\

Definition of albescent

  1. :  white or tending toward white Size and form of the common British Swift … but distinguished from it by its blacker colouring, narrow white band above the tail, widening on each side, and by the duller albescent hue of the throat gradually diminishing much further down … — Edward Blyth, Zoologist, 1884 … an oceanfront that is like a travel agent's dream, where coco palms nod over endless stretches of brilliant albescent beach. — advertisement, Fortune, 29 June 1981

Love words? You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Join MWU now and get access to America’s largest dictionary, with:

  • 300,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

Origin and Etymology of albescent

borrowed from Latin albēscent-, albēscens, present participle of albēscere “to become white, brighten,” from albus “white” + -ēscere, inchoative suffix — more at elf

First Known Use: 1705

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up albescent? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to criticize severely

Get Word of the Day daily email!