in·​can·​des·​cence ˌin-kən-ˈde-sᵊn(t)s How to pronounce incandescence (audio)
 also  -(ˌ)kan-
: the quality or state of being incandescent
especially : emission by a hot body of radiation that makes it visible

Examples of incandescence in a Sentence

candles made from whale oil were once highly prized because they burned with an incandescence superior to that of other candles
Recent Examples on the Web Last week, obvious incandescence was noted at the summit, along with strong, persistent fumarolic activity. Erik Klemetti, Discover Magazine, 20 Nov. 2019 Popocatépetl produced a number of explosions as lava reaches the surface at the active vent, as evidenced by incandescence spotted at the volcano's summit. Erik Klemetti, Discover Magazine, 8 Jan. 2015 The summit region is also showing strong incandescence, suggesting new magma is at or very near the surface. Erik Klemetti, Discover Magazine, 16 Apr. 2012 That’s part of its incandescence. New York Times, 29 Oct. 2021 Poás in saw the first observation of daytime incandescence since 1981. Erik Klemetti, Discover Magazine, 9 Sep. 2011 The volcano has also been producing a nearly constant plume with incandescence noticed at night on the SERNAGEOMIN webcam after the volcano produced another small explosive eruption. Erik Klemetti, Discover Magazine, 29 Mar. 2016 But sometimes the light burns bright indeed, and the incandescence of human cultural creativity can blind and disorient. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 1 Apr. 2012 Patrick Mahomes’s incandescence, Travis Kelce’s reliability, and Reid’s guidance have planted the Chiefs atop the NFL. Adam Kilgore,, 20 Jan. 2023

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

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1656, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of incandescence was circa 1656

Dictionary Entries Near incandescence

Cite this Entry

“Incandescence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


in·​can·​des·​cence ˌin-kən-ˈdes-ᵊn(t)s How to pronounce incandescence (audio)
: the glowing of a substance due to its high temperature

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