1

incandescent

adjective in·can·des·cent \ ˌin-kən-ˈde-sᵊnt also -(ˌ)kan- \
Updated on: 14 Nov 2017

Definition of incandescent

1 a :white, glowing, or luminous with intense heat
b :strikingly bright, radiant, or clear
c :marked by brilliance especially of expression
  • incandescent wit
d :characterized by glowing zeal :ardent
  • incandescent affection
2 a :of, relating to, or being light produced by incandescence
b :producing light by incandescence

incandescently

adverb

incandescent was our Word of the Day on 09/19/2015. Hear the podcast!

Examples of incandescent in a Sentence

  1. sitting in darkness, except for the incandescent coals of our campfire

  2. a speaker incandescent with righteous anger over the treatment of the refugees

Recent Examples of incandescent from the Web

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

Did You Know?

Incandescent came into the English language toward the end of the 18th century, at a time when scientific experiments involving heat and light were being conducted on an increasingly frequent basis. An object that glowed at a high temperature (such as a piece of coal) was "incandescent." By the mid-1800s, the incandescent lamp - a.k.a. the "lightbulb" - had been invented; it contains a filament which gives off light when heated by an electric current. "Incandescent" is the modern offspring of a much older parent, the Latin verb candēre, meaning "to glow." Centuries earlier, the word for another source of light, "candle," was also derived from "candēre."

Origin and Etymology of incandescent

probably from French, from Latin incandescent-, incandescens, present participle of incandescere to become hot, from in- + candescere to become hot, from candēre to glow — more at candid


2

incandescent

noun

Definition of incandescent

Recent Examples of incandescent from the Web

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

First Known Use of incandescent

1900

Other Electrical Engineering Terms



INCANDESCENT Defined for English Language Learners

incandescent

adjective

Definition of incandescent for English Language Learners

  • : white or glowing because of great heat

  • : producing bright light when heated

  • : very impressive, successful, or intelligent


INCANDESCENT Defined for Kids

incandescent

adjective in·can·des·cent \ ˌin-kən-ˈde-sᵊnt \

Definition of incandescent for Students

:white or glowing with great heat


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

marked by intense feeling

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!