lu·​cid | \ ˈlü-səd How to pronounce lucid (audio) \

Definition of lucid

1a : suffused with light : luminous
b : translucent snorkeling in the lucid sea
2 : having full use of one's faculties : sane
3 : clear to the understanding : intelligible

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Other Words from lucid

lucidly adverb
lucidness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for lucid

clear, perspicuous, lucid mean quickly and easily understood. clear implies freedom from obscurity, ambiguity, or undue complexity. clear instructions perspicuous applies to a style that is simple and elegant as well as clear. a perspicuous style lucid suggests a clear logical coherence and evident order of arrangement. a lucid explanation

Shine a Light on the Origin of Lucid

It's easy enough to shed some light on the origins of lucid: it derives—via the Latin adjective lucidus, meaning "shining"—from the Latin verb lucēre, meaning "to shine." Lucid has been used by English speakers since at least the late 16th century. Originally, it meant merely "filled with light" or "shining," but it has since developed extended senses describing someone whose mind is clear or something with a clear meaning. Other shining examples of lucēre descendants include translucent, lucent ("glowing"), and the somewhat rarer relucent ("reflecting light" or "shining"). Even the word light itself derives from the same ancient word that led to lucēre.

Examples of lucid in a Sentence

The stroke also set off a major crisis of presidential succession, as the debilitated and not entirely lucid president continued to cling to office and plan feebly for re-election. — Beverly Gage, New York Times Book Review, 13 Dec 2009 His lucid history of this grim subject is scrupulously accurate, so far as I am able to judge … — Richard A. Posner, New Republic, 8 Apr 2002 "You would like me to read to you?" "You would oblige me greatly by doing so, Dorothea," said Mr. Casaubon, with a shade more meekness than usual in his polite manner. "I am wakeful: my mind is remarkably lucid." — George Eliot, Middlemarch, 1872 The atmosphere, seen through a short space of half or three-quarters of a mile, was perfectly lucid, but at a greater distance all colours were blended into a most beautiful haze … — Charles Darwin, The Voyage of the Beagle, 1839 He is able to recognize his wife in his lucid moments. those lucid bands that spread across the arctic sky and are known as the northern lights
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Recent Examples on the Web Whereas Cynthia [Ozick] is 92 and as lucid as ever and gives Philip his due as not only one of the greatest writers of the 20th century but a human being. Michael Granberry, Dallas News, "How Philip Roth’s biographer captured the writer’s complicated legacy," 8 Apr. 2021 This week’s presentation features the storied pianist Fred Hersch, whose lucid and harmonically lush playing often graced the stage at the Standard, and his trio. New York Times, "5 Things to Do This Weekend," 1 Apr. 2021 Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Carlos Gonzalez, who responded to the crash, found a lucid Woods still strapped into his seat belt but trapped as the SUV had rolled over onto the driver's side door. Madeline Holcombe, CNN, "Tiger Woods has a long, uncertain road ahead after California crash, emergency doctor says," 25 Feb. 2021 Sharon said he was overcome by the disease quickly and had few lucid moments., "Help support local journalism like this," 11 Mar. 2021 Woods was conscious, lucid and calm when he was taken by an ambulance to a local hospital, said the authorities, who added they were asked by Woods’s representatives not to elaborate on his condition. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "Tiger Woods Hospitalized With Multiple Leg Injuries After L.A. Car Accident," 24 Feb. 2021 The oldest has gone off to dream in the comfort of his room, the youngest despite him seeming more lucid than me, just reflects cartoons back from his eyes. Star Tribune, "'Essay on Reentry,' a poem by Reginald Dwayne Betts," 5 Mar. 2021 His son, who was escorting him, said his father was lucid but no longer accustomed to other people. Chico Harlan, Washington Post, "How the coronavirus devastated a generation," 3 Mar. 2021 Adele, who is skilled in the art of lucid dreaming, teaches him how to take control of his dream life. Naomi Fry, The New Yorker, "The Dizzying Hairpin Turns of “Behind Her Eyes”," 1 Mar. 2021

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

1591, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for lucid

Latin lucidus, from lucēre — see lucent

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Last Updated

14 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Lucid.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for lucid



English Language Learners Definition of lucid

: very clear and easy to understand
: able to think clearly


lu·​cid | \ ˈlü-səd How to pronounce lucid (audio) \

Kids Definition of lucid

1 : having or showing the ability to think clearly lucid behavior
2 : easily understood lucid writing

Other Words from lucid

lucidly adverb The problem was lucidly explained.


lu·​cid | \ ˈlü-səd How to pronounce lucid (audio) \

Medical Definition of lucid

: having, showing, or characterized by an ability to think clearly and rationally

Other Words from lucid

lucidity noun, plural lucidities

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More from Merriam-Webster on lucid

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lucid

Nglish: Translation of lucid for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lucid for Arabic Speakers

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