bioluminescence

noun
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

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Other Words from bioluminescence

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

Examples of bioluminescence in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The prey’s bioluminescence makes its predator visible—alerting the predator’s predators. Liz Langley, National Geographic, "How bioluminescence works in nature," 2 May 2019 That’s a distinct process from bioluminescence, in which animals either produce their own light through a series of chemical reactions or host other organisms that give off light. Brian Clark Howard, National Geographic, "These sharks glow underwater—thanks to tiny ‘lightsabers’," 8 Aug. 2019 The discovery that bioluminescence can drive nighttime schooling in flashlight fish is being published in the journal PLOS ONE on August 14. Brian Clark Howard, National Geographic, "We finally know why flashlight fish glow," 14 Aug. 2019 Just as bioluminescence is when light comes from a living animal or plant, sonoluminescence is when light emerges out of sound. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Watch This Guy Punch Water So Hard, Light Comes Out," 6 Sep. 2019 But the idea of using bioluminescence to coordinate schooling is novel. Brian Clark Howard, National Geographic, "We finally know why flashlight fish glow," 14 Aug. 2019 The phenomenon is known as biofluorescence, not to be confused with a related phenomenon, bioluminescence. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "We now know what causes these two shark species to glow green," 8 Aug. 2019 Fireflies depend on their bioluminescence for reproduction. Dan Radel, USA TODAY, "Fireflies are dying out because people are destroying their habitats," 1 Aug. 2019 Marine creatures rely on bioluminescence for communication, finding prey, camouflage, and more. Liz Langley, National Geographic, "How bioluminescence works in nature," 2 May 2019

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.

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First Known Use of bioluminescence

1916, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for bioluminescence

International Scientific Vocabulary

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Time Traveler for bioluminescence

Time Traveler

The first known use of bioluminescence was in 1916

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Statistics for bioluminescence

Last Updated

7 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Bioluminescence.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bioluminescence. Accessed 18 January 2020.

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More Definitions for bioluminescence

bioluminescence

noun
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 bioluminescent (audio) \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on bioluminescence

Nglish: Translation of bioluminescence for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about bioluminescence

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