diaphanous

adjective
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 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 The sartorial wild card of the two-night stand came in the form of author Marianne Williamson, whose sea foam green pantsuit and diaphanous flower-print blouse seemed as wonderfully, head-scratchingly out of place as her presence on the stage. Adam Tschorn, latimes.com, "The 2020 Democratic debates: A pop of red, a naked neck and a sea of navy blue," 28 June 2019 And as the diaphanous accessory trailed behind her, Ambrosio channeled French bombshells of decades past, like Brigitte Bardot or Catherine Deneuve, who ever-so-insouciantly set the stage for wearing carrés with aplomb along the French Riviera. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Alessandra Ambrosio’s French Girl Hair Trick Is Worth Stealing for Summer," 14 May 2019 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

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

8 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for diaphanous

The first known use of diaphanous was in 1614

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More Definitions for diaphanous

diaphanous

adjective
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

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