ef·​ful·​gence i-ˈfu̇l-jən(t)s How to pronounce effulgence (audio)
-ˈfəl- How to pronounce effulgence (audio)
: radiant splendor : brilliance
i-ˈfu̇l-jənt How to pronounce effulgence (audio)

Did you know?

Need a shiny word to bust out at your next disco party, planetarium visit, or fireworks gathering? How about effulgence? It’s not a shiny "new" word, having made its English language debut in the 17th century, but it does come from the Latin verb fulgēre, meaning "to shine." Effulgence isn’t used for bog-standard brightness, however; it’s reserved for shininess that dazzles, inspires, leaves you gobsmacked—in other words, "radiant splendor."

Examples of effulgence in a Sentence

the exceptional effulgence of the harvest moon is always a striking sight
Recent Examples on the Web Maggie Rogers paired her of-the-moment shag with natural notes—bare skin, freckles, grass—as elsewhere, Elle Fanning enjoyed the lit effects of golden hour, which took her complexion and blanched blonde to new levels of effulgence. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, 10 July 2022 Just ask Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex who took her lit-from-within skin to the next level yesterday with an ample swirl of roseate blush applied to transform her pregnancy glow into a full-on display of effulgence. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, 30 Oct. 2018 One part shimmery smoky eye, one part unexpected pressing of pigment, Lopez's eyeshadow plotted with her luminous skin and swipe of pale pink lipgloss to exude effulgence. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, 22 Jan. 2018 Absent from Van Noten’s three-decade career are stories of bankruptcy, strife, irresponsibility, overleverage, overexpansion, overspending or unhinged, dangerous effulgence. Hanya Yanagihara, New York Times, 16 Oct. 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'effulgence.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Late Latin effulgentia, from Latin effulgent-, effulgens, present participle of effulgēre to shine forth, from ex- + fulgēre to shine — more at fulgent

First Known Use

1667, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of effulgence was in 1667


Dictionary Entries Near effulgence

Cite this Entry

“Effulgence.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/effulgence. Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


ef·​ful·​gence i-ˈfu̇l-jən(t)s How to pronounce effulgence (audio) e- How to pronounce effulgence (audio)
: shining brightness
effulgent adjective
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