ir·​i·​des·​cent | \ ˌir-ə-ˈde-sᵊnt How to pronounce iridescent (audio) \

Definition of iridescent

: having or exhibiting iridescence

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Other Words from iridescent

iridescently adverb

Synonyms for iridescent


nacreous, opalescent, pearlescent

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Did You Know?

Iris, the Greek goddess of the rainbow, took messages from Mount Olympus to earth, and from gods to mortals or other gods, using the rainbow as her stairway. Iridescence is thus the glowing, shifting, colorful quality of a rainbow, also seen in an opal, a light oil slick, a butterfly wing, or the mother-of-pearl that lines an oyster shell.

Examples of iridescent in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The fanny pack comes in a kitschy grapefruit or a (temporarily sold out) iridescent mermaid scale patterns. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "Target's Fanny Pack Wine Cooler Is the Only Accessory You Need This Summer," 31 May 2019 The suite at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas looked like the set of a heist film: iridescent blue light cast shadows across low-slung couches, where three men in suits made deals. Andrew Beaton And Rebecca Davis O’brien, WSJ, "How Not to Bribe College Basketball Coaches," 1 May 2019 The baguette-style ring comes in nine different colorways: green, light blue, peach, topaz, pastel, iridescent, multi, primary rainbow, and rainbow. Glamour, "Julia Roberts Wore $44 Baublebar Rings With a Custom Salvatore Ferragamo Suit," 12 Apr. 2019 Lagerfeld also outfitted Charlotte Casiraghi for her first post-baby debut in an iridescent silk dress from the Spring 2014 Haute Couture collection. Chrissy Rutherford, Harper's BAZAAR, "A Glamorous Photo of Karl Lagerfeld & 3 Princesses," 31 Mar. 2014 Inspired by the iridescent colors of the aurora borealis, Chantecaille’s new celestial polishes ensure out-of-this-world nails, free of harsh chemicals and formaldehydes, too. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "13 New Beauty Products Worth the Hype in 2019," 9 Jan. 2019 This fall shoes will be taking center stage with new, iridescent styles. Jasmine Snow, Seventeen, "Fashion Trends," 25 June 2013 The vibe was carefree and fun with the only sign of the dreaded winter being the cozy fire, which served mainly to illuminate the beautiful acrylic handbags of gleaming tortoise shell and iridescent ivory and bronze. Mai Morsch, Vogue, "Edie Parker Hosted a Colorful Cocktail Party That Made Guests Forget All About the New York Slush," 13 Feb. 2019 Speaking of rainbow, iridescent electroplated flatware is the antidote to a boring tablescape (and this 12-piece set is $42 at Urban Outfitters). Asad Syrkett, Curbed, "The best spring home goods," 1 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'iridescent.' 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 iridescent

1796, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for iridescent

Greek īrid-, îris "rainbow, iridescent halo around the moon, a flame, etc." + -escent — more at iris entry 1

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Statistics for iridescent

Last Updated

4 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for iridescent

The first known use of iridescent was in 1796

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More Definitions for iridescent



English Language Learners Definition of iridescent

: shining with many different colors when seen from different angles


ir·​i·​des·​cent | \ ˌir-ə-ˈde-sᵊnt How to pronounce iridescent (audio) \

Kids Definition of iridescent

: having iridescence


ir·​i·​des·​cent | \ ˌir-ə-ˈdes-ᵊnt How to pronounce iridescent (audio) \

Medical Definition of iridescent

: having or exhibiting a display of colors producing rainbow effects

Other Words from iridescent

iridescence \ -​ᵊn(t)s How to pronounce iridescence (audio) \ noun

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Comments on iridescent

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


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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