di·​aph·​a·​nous | \ dī-ˈa-fə-nəs How to pronounce diaphanous (audio) \

Definition of diaphanous

1 : characterized by such fineness of texture as to permit seeing through diaphanous fabrics a diaphanous curtain
2 : characterized by extreme delicacy of form : ethereal painted diaphanous landscapes
3 : insubstantial, vague had only a diaphanous hope of success

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Other Words from diaphanous

diaphanously adverb
diaphanousness noun

Examples of diaphanous in a Sentence

the bride wore a diaphanous veil
Recent Examples on the Web As for your bed linens, lose the formal duvet and keep sheets casual with diaphanous white linens. Jennifer Fernandez, ELLE Decor, "5 Ways to Transform Any Beach House into a Serene Tropical Oasis," 27 Nov. 2019 Yet that intricate texture is also both fragile and diaphanous, revealing in action the frameworks that give it definition. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "What’s Missing from the Brilliant “Marriage Story”," 14 Nov. 2019 They were evoked in the actual shapes and silhouettes of the diaphanous and frothy silk gowns. Washington Post, "McCartney presents eco-manifesto at Paris Fashion Week show," 30 Sep. 2019 They were evoked in the actual shapes and silhouettes of the diaphanous and frothy silk gowns. San Diego Union-Tribune, "McCartney presents eco-manifesto at Paris Fashion Week show," 30 Sep. 2019 The Russian conspiracy went on largely in the open, with most of the clandestine bits hidden under a diaphanous cover. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, "Are Spies More Trouble Than They’re Worth?," 26 Aug. 2019 For to encounter this ferociously dramatic soprano – even in diaphanous form – was to get a sense of why audiences worldwide revered her sometimes volcanic, sometimes vulnerable, always hyper-charismatic art. Howard Reich, chicagotribune.com, "Opera reviews: Maria Callas as hologram; Lyric Opera stars at Millennium Park," 8 Sep. 2019 Once in a while, detritus samplers and other collection tools attached to submersibles can capture the diaphanous animals. Martin Finucane, BostonGlobe.com, "Harvard researchers say they’ve developed a gripping tool that will keep delicate jellyfish from going splat," 4 Sep. 2019 Its male protagonist, Mac, danced in diaphanous, see-through worker’s coveralls designed by Paul Cadmus, who had scandalized critics with overtly homoerotic work in the past. Philip Kennicott, Washington Post, "LGBT artists sent messages from the closet to survive before Stonewall. Now, homophobes are coopting the technique.," 20 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'diaphanous.' 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 diaphanous

1614, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for diaphanous

Medieval Latin diaphanus, from Greek diaphanēs, from diaphainein to show through, from dia- + phainein to show — more at fancy

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Time Traveler for diaphanous

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The first known use of diaphanous was in 1614

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Last Updated

3 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Diaphanous.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diaphanous. Accessed 29 January 2020.

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More Definitions for diaphanous


How to pronounce diaphanous (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of diaphanous

formal used to describe cloth that is very thin and light

More from Merriam-Webster on diaphanous

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for diaphanous

Britannica English: Translation of diaphanous for Arabic Speakers

Comments on diaphanous

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


to assert without proof or before proving

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