evanescent

play
adjective ev·a·nes·cent \ˌe-və-ˈne-sənt\

Definition of evanescent

  1. :  tending to vanish like vapor

evanescent was our Word of the Day on 10/21/2016. Hear the podcast!

Examples of evanescent in a sentence

  1. beauty that is as evanescent as a rainbow

Did You Know?

The fragile, airy quality of things evanescent reflects the etymology of the word evanescent itself. It derives from a form of the Latin verb evanescere, which means "to evaporate" or "to vanish." Given the similarity in spelling between the two words, you might expect evaporate to come from the same Latin root, but it actually grew out of another steamy Latin root, evaporare. Evanescere did give us vanish, however, by way of Anglo-French and Vulgar Latin.

Origin and Etymology of evanescent

Latin evanescent-, evanescens, present participle of evanescere


First Known Use: 1717

Synonym Discussion of evanescent

transient, transitory, ephemeral, momentary, fugitive, fleeting, evanescent mean lasting or staying only a short time. transient applies to what is actually short in its duration or stay a hotel catering primarily to transient guests. transitory applies to what is by its nature or essence bound to change, pass, or come to an end fame in the movies is transitory. ephemeral implies striking brevity of life or duration many slang words are ephemeral. momentary suggests coming and going quickly and therefore being merely a brief interruption of a more enduring state my feelings of guilt were only momentary. fugitive and fleeting imply passing so quickly as to make apprehending difficult let a fugitive smile flit across his face fleeting moments of joy. evanescent suggests a quick vanishing and an airy or fragile quality the story has an evanescent touch of whimsy that is lost in translation.

EVANESCENT Defined for English Language Learners

evanescent

play
adjective ev·a·nes·cent \ˌe-və-ˈne-sənt\

Definition of evanescent for English Language Learners

  • : lasting a very short time


Medical Dictionary

evanescent

play
adjective ev·a·nes·cent \ˌev-ə-ˈnes-ənt\

Medical Definition of evanescent

  1. :  tending to disappear quickly :  of relatively short duration an evanescent rash



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up evanescent? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

contemplative of or relative to the past

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • manet-jeanne-spring
  • Which is a synonym of chaffer?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ