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 structure of Normal People is also fairly diaphanous, and the ending is maddeningly uncertain. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "How TV Romance Got Radical," 30 Apr. 2020 Trojahn’s orchestral writing is similarly fluent: the pacing is confident, the coloristic contrasts intelligent, and there are some beguiling textures; a diaphanous web of harp and stratospheric string harmonics early in the opera was breathtaking. Matthew Aucoin, The New York Review of Books, "Opera at the Edge," 7 Dec. 2019 Layered over that was a diaphanous white chiffon cape that fell to about the breastbone in the front and opened at the sides to allow the skin of bare arms to peek through. Los Angeles Times, "Our fashion critic reviews ‘Making the Cut’s’ winning looks: ‘Coachella-worthy’," 17 Apr. 2020 The duck is traditionally carved tableside and served in three courses: skin and a dipping sauce; meat with vegetables and diaphanous little pancakes; and the remaining bits in a broth. National Geographic, "THE BEST OF NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX," 18 Mar. 2020 While certainly not the first very good take on Emma to hit the big screen (see: Gwyneth Paltrow's diaphanous dresses; Cher Horowitz's generation-defining sense of self), as far as sheer visual delight goes, de Wilde's version is truly next level. Emma Bazilian, House Beautiful, "You Can Stream "Emma"—aka the Most Gorgeous Film of the Year—This Weekend," 17 Mar. 2020 Volume and texture emerged as the week’s dominant themes, with full skirts and diaphanous fabrics. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Last Week, Stars Chose Feminine Flourishes and Runway Drama," 16 Mar. 2020 Farber conveys the fresh wound of Hamlet's grief by bringing out the corpse of his father draped in a diaphanous shroud. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Hamlet': Theater Review," 11 Feb. 2020 Several of the looks to follow were fitted diaphanous gowns of ornate black lace that revealed black undergarments beneath. Washington Post, "Before Oscars, stars pack Tom Ford’s fashion week show in LA," 8 Feb. 2020

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

6 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Diaphanous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diaphanous. Accessed 6 Jun. 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

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