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

Definition of iridescent

: having or exhibiting iridescence

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from iridescent

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 With over 1 million pre-registrations made, all the rewards have been unlocked and include several in-game outfits, accessories and iridescent shards. Michael Koczwara, The Hollywood Reporter, "Mobile Games Hotspot: 'Pokemon Go' Encourages Users to Stay at Home With Updated Events," 19 Mar. 2020 The iridescent peacock shell casing and the contrasting white wings are certainly attention getters. T. Edward Nickens, Field & Stream, "The Best Flies for Catching Panfish," 12 Mar. 2020 The shoes have iridescent soles and an ISS National Lab patch on the tongue. Jackie Wattles, CNN, "Adidas to launch footwear research into space so it can make better sneakers," 6 Mar. 2020 And its shiny, intense green is not known to nature except in such exotic creatures as dragonflies and iridescent squid. Brian T. Allen, National Review, "Radical Italian Art Goes Over the Top, Dazzlingly, in Houston," 29 Feb. 2020 EVERGLADES Pictures show the reptile’s iridescent blue-black scales with stripes of red and pink along its sides and yellow streaks closer to its belly. Fox News, "Elusive rainbow snake spotted in Florida national park for first time in 50 years, experts say," 26 Feb. 2020 The Spring 2020 collection is a nuanced range of pastels — from iridescent lilac 'Spring in Your Step' to fruity green 'Can Dew Attitude' — and all six bottles are available right now. Megan Decker,, "Essie’s Spring Nail Collection Is A Fresh Take On Pastels," 18 Feb. 2020 Birds were up to three times less likely to find worms in the iridescent wing cases than in the noniridescent ones, the team reports today in Current Biology. Rodrigo Pérez Ortega, Science | AAAS, "This shiny beetle case is a surprising form of camouflage," 23 Jan. 2020 My Fur is Faux (an iridescent light pink), Champagne Showers (light gold with pink flash), and Where is My Tiara? (a shimmery magenta). Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "Juicy Couture Just Dropped Its Second Makeup Collection," 10 Aug. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about iridescent

Time Traveler for iridescent

Time Traveler

The first known use of iridescent was in 1796

See more words from the same year

Statistics for iridescent

Last Updated

25 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Iridescent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Apr. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for iridescent


How to pronounce iridescent (audio)

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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