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

Definition of evanescent

  1. :  tending to vanish like vapor

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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


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

Definition of evanescent for English Language Learners

  • : lasting a very short time

Medical Dictionary


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

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contemplative of or relative to the past

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