ir·​i·​des·​cent ˌir-ə-ˈde-sᵊnt How to pronounce iridescent (audio)
: having or exhibiting iridescence
iridescently adverb

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 In this case, intergalactic cooperation looks like trapping a grumpy Godzilla in an iridescent bubble and launching him across the solar system to the mysterious Planet X, whose existence is exposed at the beginning of the film. Katie Rife,, 28 Mar. 2024 His imaginary world is filled with odd creatures like witches, scary penguins and iridescent polar bears, where objects suddenly melt, a face might get replaced by a giant rose, or a horrific hand grabs your heel from underground. Yuri Kageyama, Quartz, 27 Mar. 2024 Both Bella Hadid and Hailey Bieber just made a strong case for shiny nails this season, flashing their respective iridescent manicures on Instagram. Hannah Coates, Vogue, 23 Mar. 2024 He was disturbed that someone would go so far as to injure one of the large, iridescent birds. Sydney Page, Washington Post, 21 Mar. 2024 Males have a splash of color atop their heads, some sporting feathers in iridescent blue or pink hues, while others are snow-white. Carlyn Kranking, Smithsonian Magazine, 21 Mar. 2024 Peacock Mantis Shrimp, known for its iridescent body that resembles a peacock feather and its ability to punch 50 times faster than a bullet from a gun. Haadiza Ogwude, The Enquirer, 20 Mar. 2024 Complications arise when Aren runs into Jason’s uber-capable, much smarter co-worker Lizzie (An-Li Bogan, an iridescent light here) at a coffee shop before his first day at the office and falls hard for her. Randy Myers, The Mercury News, 13 Mar. 2024 The 100% vegan formula has a hint of iridescent baby pink color for a your-lips-but-better effect and a buttercream and pink sugar flavor to complete the vibe. Celia Shatzman, Forbes, 27 Feb. 2024

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

Word History


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

First Known Use

1796, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of iridescent was in 1796

Dictionary Entries Near iridescent

Cite this Entry

“Iridescent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


ir·​i·​des·​cent ˌir-ə-ˈdes-ᵊnt How to pronounce iridescent (audio)
: having or showing iridescence
iridescently adverb

Medical Definition


ir·​i·​des·​cent ˌir-ə-ˈdes-ᵊnt How to pronounce iridescent (audio)
: having or exhibiting a display of colors producing rainbow effects
iridescence noun

More from Merriam-Webster on iridescent

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