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

The most famous Elsa-ism of all was the Duchess of Windsor’s lobster dress, designed in collaboration with Salvador Dalí and notorious at the time not only for the crustacean’s suggestive placement, but also for the dress’s diaphanous fabric. Nicole Phelps, Vogue, "Schiaparelli’s Bertrand Guyon Is Out After Nearly Four Years," 19 Apr. 2019 The gown’s subtly sequined plunging bodice was offset by its layered gossamer sleeves, and the diaphanous silk chiffon was the perfect ground for Saab’s painterly print of spring blooms. Roberta Gorin-paracka, Teen Vogue, "Lily Collins Wears Floral Elie Saab Gown at Art of Elysium's "Heaven" Gala," 6 Jan. 2019 Jumpsuits, straps and cords featured on silhouettes that were either tight on the torso, evoking a leotard, or diaphanous and floaty, channeling a tutu. Thomas Adamson, The Seattle Times, "Dior and Gucci theatrically kick off Paris Fashion Week," 24 Sep. 2018 This season, Dior turned to dance to produce the music and visuals for its spring-summer collection, infused with diaphanous, tulle-rich gowns. Thomas Adamson, The Seattle Times, "Dior and Gucci theatrically kick off Paris Fashion Week," 24 Sep. 2018 The angels’ crumpled, diaphanous costumes featured tiny blinking lights; other light came from images on the digital tablets carried by the choristers. Heidi Waleson, WSJ, "‘The Creation’ Review: Genesis in the Dark," 23 July 2018 Thin and diaphanous, this ribbon is formed by dust and ice ejected by Enceladus. National Geographic, "Right Stuff for Life Found on Small Saturn Moon," 27 June 2018 While Elbaz brought a diaphanous magic that revived the oldest French house still in operation, bringing in a new voice can backfire as well. Elizabeth Raiss, refinery29.com, "Why Do We Treat A Fashion Designer Leaving A Brand Like Someone Dying?," 14 June 2018 More inspired are Gianni Versace’s diaphanous dresses of gold and silver mesh, a signature material that the designer garlanded with crosses. Jason Farago, New York Times, "‘Heavenly Bodies’ Brings the Fabric of Faith to the Met," 9 May 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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Statistics for diaphanous

Last Updated

7 May 2019

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Time Traveler for diaphanous

The first known use of diaphanous was in 1614

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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

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