Definition of lambent
1 : playing lightly on or over a surface : flickering
2 : softly bright or radiant
3 : marked by lightness or brilliance especially of expression
Examples of lambent in a sentence
lambent sunlight glinting off the waves
a writer known for her lambent wit
Did You Know?
Fire is frequently associated with lapping or licking imagery: flames are often described as "tongues" that "lick." Lambent, which first appeared in English in the 17th century, is a part of this tradition, coming from lambens, the present participle of the Latin verb lambere, meaning "to lick." In its earliest uses, lambent meant "playing lightly over a surface," "gliding over," or "flickering." These uses were usually applied to flames or light, and by way of that association, the term eventually came to describe things with a radiant or brilliant glow, as Alexander Pope used it in his 1717 poem "Eloisa to Abelard": "Those smiling eyes, attemp'ring ev'ry ray, Shone sweetly lambent with celestial day."
Origin and Etymology of lambent
Latin lambent-, lambens, present participle of lambere to lick — more at lap
First Known Use: 1647
LAMBENT Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of lambent for English Language Learners
: shining or glowing softly
: having a light, appealing quality
Learn More about lambent
Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lambent
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up lambent? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).