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 During the dead of a Minnesota winter, a woman can buy a diaphanous beach cover-up for her trip to Tulum. Anne Bratskeir, Travel + Leisure, 1 Sep. 2021 The dark-haired woman in the painting is wearing a diaphanous blue robe, wafting across an Ipanema beach. Helen Shaw, Vulture, 28 Aug. 2021 Several pieces caught the judges’ attention, including a diaphanous dress that judge Jeremy Scott compared to those in Degas’ ballet dancer paintings. Adam Tschorn, Los Angeles Times, 6 Aug. 2021 Composed of gradient diachronous glass, which has a diaphanous quality, the monument resembles an architectural model for a geometric skyscraper. Brienne Walsh, Forbes, 17 June 2021 Incredibly calming, the diaphanous and delicate scent is light and fresh. Celia Shatzman, Forbes, 25 May 2021 These are slender, diaphanous qualities, easily destroyed by even a hint of negativity. Washington Post, 6 May 2021 New coaxed delicate, diaphanous textures and pastels occasionally shot through with flashes of bright color and sparkles. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, 14 May 2021 The May weather has gone from warm to hot, and the birthday girl, Alma, is damp in her new blue dress with long, diaphanous sleeves. Beth Thames | Bethmthames@gmail.com, al, 12 May 2021

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

extension with -ous of Medieval Latin diafanus, diaphanus, borrowed from Greek diaphanḗs "transparent, manifest, conspicuous," adjective derivative from the stem of diaphaínein "to let be seen through," diaphaínesthai "to show through, be seen through," from dia- dia- + phaínein (active voice) "to bring to light, cause to appear," and phaínesthai (middle voice) "to become visible, come to light, appear" — more at fantasy entry 1

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The first known use of diaphanous was in 1614

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Last Updated

10 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Diaphanous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diaphanous. Accessed 21 Sep. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of diaphanous

used to describe cloth that is very thin and light

More from Merriam-Webster on diaphanous

Britannica English: Translation of diaphanous for Arabic Speakers


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