iridescence

noun
ir·i·des·cence | \ˌir-ə-ˈde-sᵊn(t)s \

Definition of iridescence 

1 : a lustrous rainbowlike play of color caused by differential refraction of light waves (as from an oil slick, soap bubble, or fish scales) that tends to change as the angle of view changes

2 : a lustrous or attractive quality or effect

Examples of iridescence in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The exhibition offers such examples as a Tiffany Peacock Vase (c. 1901) and a 19th-century Indian fabric woven with beetle wing casings for iridescence, as well as 21st-century Nike running shoes in fluorescent green. Judith H. Dobrzynski, WSJ, "‘Saturated: The Allure and Science of Color’ Review: Vibrant From Any Angle," 26 May 2018 Stern likes Kjaer Weis Highlighter in Radiance for cheeks because its creamy, luscious texture and faint iridescence, as well as Glossier Haloscope in Quartz for its easy-to-apply stick formula and wear-anywhere subtlety. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "How to Get Glowing Skin," 25 June 2018 Color’s mysterious properties, like iridescence, fluorescence and optical illusions, are still being explored and exploited. Judith H. Dobrzynski, WSJ, "‘Saturated: The Allure and Science of Color’ Review: Vibrant From Any Angle," 26 May 2018 Today, birds with iridescence, such as male birds of paradise, use their flashy colors to attract mates. Kristin Hugo, Newsweek, "Feathered Dinosaur Shimmered Like a Rainbow, Fossil Reveals," 15 Jan. 2018 The new Honor 10 exhibits the same design philosophy as the P20 Pro: ugly notch on the front, stunning blue-purple iridescence on the back. Vlad Savov, The Verge, "The Honor 10 is exactly the budget Huawei P20 Pro we were expecting," 15 May 2018 This 161-million-year-old fossil is the oldest example of iridescence in a feathered dinosaur yet discovered. Kristin Hugo, Newsweek, "Feathered Dinosaur Shimmered Like a Rainbow, Fossil Reveals," 15 Jan. 2018 The entire cocoon, or chrysalis, will then be veiled in a shroud of clear balloons with a hint of iridescence. Lisa Deaderick, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Top weekend events: Martin Luther King Jr. parade, 'Crystal Cortex,' Karl Denson's Tiny Universe," 12 Jan. 2018 Perhaps the same is true for other butterflies like morphos and pipevine swallowtails, which have independently evolved blue iridescence. Ed Yong, The Atlantic, "Scientists Can Now Repaint Butterfly Wings," 18 Sep. 2017

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

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First Known Use of iridescence

1804, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for iridescence

irid(escent) + -escence

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Dictionary Entries near iridescence

iridaceous

iridectomize

iridesce

iridescence

iridescent

iridian

iridic

Statistics for iridescence

Last Updated

7 Oct 2018

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The first known use of iridescence was in 1804

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More Definitions for iridescence

iridescence

noun
ir·i·des·cence | \ˌir-ə-ˈde-sᵊns \

Kids Definition of iridescence

: a shifting and constant change of colors producing rainbow effects

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More from Merriam-Webster on iridescence

Spanish Central: Translation of iridescence

Nglish: Translation of iridescence for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about iridescence

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