bio·​lu·​mi·​nes·​cence | \ ˌbī-ō-ˌlü-mə-ˈne-sᵊn(t)s How to pronounce bioluminescence (audio) \

Definition of bioluminescence

: the emission of light from living organisms (such as fireflies, dinoflagellates, and bacteria) as the result of internal, typically oxidative chemical reactions also : the light so produced

Other Words from bioluminescence

bioluminescent \ ˌbī-​ō-​ˌlü-​mə-​ˈne-​sᵊnt How to pronounce bioluminescence (audio) \ adjective

Examples of bioluminescence in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Krill eyes point upward, and the animals' undersides flash with bioluminescence when startled, Tarling says; these characteristics may help explain their vertical focus while swarming. Andrew Chapman, Scientific American, 21 June 2022 The team believes that the fish can also use its bioluminescence to avoid being eaten. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, 10 May 2022 The teaser explores more of the fictional Pandora than viewers saw in the first film, though its brilliant blues and bioluminescence remain. Scottie Andrew, CNN, 9 May 2022 Many remember the widespread bioluminescence along the Southern California coastline in spring 2020. Rachel Schnalzer, Los Angeles Times, 17 Mar. 2022 Even ocean species lacking the ability to produce their own light count on bioluminescence to survive—by using another animal’s light. Brian Handwerk, Smithsonian Magazine, 1 Mar. 2022 In a statement, Louis Vuitton says the Air Quantum’s alluring design was inspired by the bioluminescence of deep-sea creatures. Demetrius Simms, Robb Report, 14 Mar. 2022 Netted at 2,600 feet off the coast of New Zealand, the shark specimens were examined by marine bioluminescence expert Jérôme Mallefet from the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium. Danielle Hall And Alia N. Payne, Smithsonian Magazine, 22 Dec. 2021 Their bioluminescence is a phase in the mating ritual at the end of which the eggs are laid. Cecilia Rodriguez, Forbes, 7 Nov. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bioluminescence.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of bioluminescence

1916, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for bioluminescence

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Time Traveler for bioluminescence

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The first known use of bioluminescence was in 1916

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biolytic tank

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Last Updated

30 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Bioluminescence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for bioluminescence


bio·​lu·​mi·​nes·​cence | \ ˌbī-ō-ˌlü-mə-ˈnes-ᵊn(t)s How to pronounce bioluminescence (audio) \

Medical Definition of bioluminescence

: the emission of light from living organisms also : the light so produced

Other Words from bioluminescence

bioluminescent \ -​ᵊnt How to pronounce bioluminescence (audio) \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on bioluminescence

Nglish: Translation of bioluminescence for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about bioluminescence


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