cor·​us·​cate ˈkȯr-ə-ˌskāt How to pronounce coruscate (audio)
coruscated; coruscating

intransitive verb

: to give off or reflect light in bright beams or flashes : sparkle
: to be brilliant or showy in technique or style

Did you know?

To help you gain a flash of recognition next time you see coruscate (or to prompt you when you need a brilliant synonym for sparkle), remember this bit of bright imagery by George Bernard Shaw, describing a centuries-old abbey: "O'er this north door a trace still lingers / Of how a Gothic craftsman's fingers / Could make stones creep like ivy stems / And tilings coruscate like gems." Or you could just remember that coruscate developed from Latin coruscare, which means "to flash." That word also gave us the noun coruscation ("glitter" or "sparkle") and the adjective coruscant ("shining" or "glittering").

Examples of coruscate in a Sentence

a classic car from the 1950s, replete with yards of coruscating chrome
Recent Examples on the Web All articles that coruscate with resplendence are not, ipso facto, auriferous. Richard Lederer, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 Oct. 2021 Brazil had been in coruscating form up to that point, so few expected them to falter., 5 June 2018 In February the group dropped Slag (Aerophonic), a live recording of a coruscating performance at London’s Café Oto in 2015. Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader, 22 Sep. 2017

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

Word History


Latin coruscatus, past participle of coruscare to flash

First Known Use

1705, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of coruscate was in 1705


Dictionary Entries Near coruscate

Cite this Entry

“Coruscate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2023.

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