chemi·​lu·​mi·​nes·​cence ˌke-mē-ˌlü-mə-ˈne-sᵊn(t)s How to pronounce chemiluminescence (audio)
: luminescence (such as bioluminescence) due to chemical reaction
chemiluminescent adjective

Examples of chemiluminescence in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web One of them is called chemiluminescence -- light produced by chemical processes. Phil Plait, Discover Magazine, 11 June 2012 Bioluminescence occurs during a chemical reaction called chemiluminescence – where chemical energy converts to radiant energy. Monica Cull, Discover Magazine, 14 June 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'chemiluminescence.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from German Chemiluminescenz, from chemi- (extracted from chemisch "chemical," from Chemie "chemistry" + -isch -ish, after New Latin chemicus, Medieval Latin chimicus chemic) + Luminescenz luminescence

Note: The term was introduced by the German physicist Elhard Wiedemann (1852-1928) in "Ueber Fluorescenz und Phosphorescenz, I. Abhandlung," Annalen der Physik und Chemie, Neue Folge, Band 34 (1888), pp. 447-48.

First Known Use

1889, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of chemiluminescence was in 1889

Dictionary Entries Near chemiluminescence

Cite this Entry

“Chemiluminescence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2024.

Medical Definition


che·​mi·​lu·​mi·​nes·​cence ˌkem-i-ˌlü-mə-ˈnes-ᵊn(t)s, ˌkē-mi- How to pronounce chemiluminescence (audio)
: luminescence (as bioluminescence) due to chemical reaction usually at low temperatures
chemiluminescent adjective

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