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 Marley Healy, a fashion historian and curator, mentioned a famous portrait of Marie Antoinette in a simple (by the era’s baroque standards), diaphanous gown as an example of how this process starts. Amanda Mull, The Atlantic, "America Loves to Hate Sweatpants," 8 Dec. 2020 Even these willfully insubstantial constructions are more concrete than Jacqueline Maggi’s diaphanous, unoccupied rectangular enclosure. Washington Post, "In the galleries: A wide array of media carry election-year messages," 30 Oct. 2020 Made of light, the diaphanous compositions are practically immaterial and as fleeting as the autumn foliage that holds them. Washington Post, "The trees have eyes in Strathmore’s mesmerizing art installation ‘Monuments’," 15 Oct. 2020 Rick Owens and Thebe Magugu cut diaphanous knitwear that hugs the body, while Charlotte Knowles, Ottolinger, Supriya Lele, Nensi Dojaka, and LaQuan Smith all continued their experiments in mesh. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "8 Essential Trends From Fashion Week’s Spring 2021 Season," 13 Oct. 2020 Colors were eye-popping, either prime or acid and the silhouette was tight and sporty, or flowing and diaphanous. Thomas Adamson, Star Tribune, "Kenzo gets the buzz at bee-themed Paris Fashion Week show," 30 Sep. 2020 His innovation recalled the braless look that had made headlines the previous year, when Yves Saint Laurent created diaphanous tops that revealed the wearer’s breasts. Nancy Macdonell, WSJ, "Will Working From Home Kill the Bra Forever?," 22 Sep. 2020 But at the time, the cognoscenti oohed and aahed about their diaphanous moods and painterly refinement. Sebastian Smee, Washington Post, "Anger at Donald Trump may turn great artists into political cartoonists. It’s happened before.," 4 Sep. 2020 Each plant shoots dozens of them from the soil, and their diaphanous leaves form a canopy above our heads. Max Falkowitz, Saveur, "Meet the Farmer Shaking Up the Guatemalan Cardamom Trade," 28 Nov. 2018

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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The first known use of diaphanous was in 1614

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Cite this Entry

“Diaphanous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diaphanous. Accessed 28 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for diaphanous



English Language Learners Definition of diaphanous

formal used to describe cloth that is very thin and light

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Britannica English: Translation of diaphanous for Arabic Speakers

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