evanescent

adjective
ev·​a·​nes·​cent | \ ˌe-və-ˈne-sᵊnt How to pronounce evanescent (audio) \

Definition of evanescent

: tending to vanish like vapor

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Breaking Down Evanescent

The fragile, airy quality of evanescent things reflects the etymology of the word evanescent itself. It’s from a form of the Latin verb evanescere, which means "to evaporate" or "to vanish.” (Evanescere is also the ultimate source of vanish.) Given the similarity in spelling between the two words, you might expect evaporate to be from this family as well, but its source is another steamy Latin root, evaporare.

Examples of evanescent in a Sentence

beauty that is as evanescent as a rainbow
Recent Examples on the Web But from his vantage on the evanescent bridge to maturity, So is puzzling out some big questions, ones that might be exigent from different vantages at any age. Deborah Eisenberg, The New York Review of Books, 19 Aug. 2021 But from his vantage on the evanescent bridge to maturity, So is puzzling out some big questions, ones that might be exigent from different vantages at any age. Deborah Eisenberg, The New York Review of Books, 19 Aug. 2021 This is to try to capture and memorialize this volatile and evanescent mode of expression, with its references both obscure and shared by millions. Patrick Iber, The New Republic, 5 Aug. 2021 This is to try to capture and memorialize this volatile and evanescent mode of expression, with its references both obscure and shared by millions. Patrick Iber, The New Republic, 5 Aug. 2021 Still another is for people and institutions to realize that cancellation mobs are often powerless and evanescent (and unmerited), a fearsome tide from far off that recedes to nothing closer to shore, and simply wait them out before acting rashly. Jack Butler, National Review, 26 Aug. 2021 This is to try to capture and memorialize this volatile and evanescent mode of expression, with its references both obscure and shared by millions. Patrick Iber, The New Republic, 5 Aug. 2021 This is to try to capture and memorialize this volatile and evanescent mode of expression, with its references both obscure and shared by millions. Patrick Iber, The New Republic, 5 Aug. 2021 This is to try to capture and memorialize this volatile and evanescent mode of expression, with its references both obscure and shared by millions. Patrick Iber, The New Republic, 5 Aug. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'evanescent.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of evanescent

1717, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for evanescent

Latin evanescent-, evanescens, present participle of evanescere

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Time Traveler for evanescent

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The first known use of evanescent was in 1717

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Dictionary Entries Near evanescent

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Cite this Entry

“Evanescent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/evanescent. Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for evanescent

evanescent

adjective
ev·​a·​nes·​cent | \ ˌev-ə-ˈnes-ᵊnt How to pronounce evanescent (audio) \

Medical Definition of evanescent

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

More from Merriam-Webster on evanescent

Nglish: Translation of evanescent for Spanish Speakers

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