lu·​cu·​lent | \ ˈlü-kyə-lənt How to pronounce luculent (audio) \

Definition of luculent

: clear in thought or expression : lucid the interviewee was luculent and personable

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Other Words from luculent

luculently adverb

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To shed light on the meaning of "luculent," one need only look at its root - the Latin noun lux, meaning "light." The English word first appeared in the 15th century with the meaning "brilliant" or "shining," as in "a luculent flame." By the mid-16th century, the "clear in thought or expression" sense had begun to shine, and by that century's end another sense was flickering with the meaning "illustrious" or "resplendent" (as in Ben Jonson's 1599 description of a "most debonair and luculent lady"). Both the "illustrious" and the "emitting light" sense have fallen out of use, and even the "clear" sense is now rare. (When it does appear, it is typically in humorous contexts in which the writer is intentionally choosing obscure words.) Today's writers seem to prefer another "lux" descendant with a similar meaning: "lucid."

Examples of luculent in a Sentence

the district attorney's brilliant, luculent summation sealed the case for the prosecution

First Known Use of luculent

circa 1548, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for luculent

Latin luculentus, from luc-, lux light

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Time Traveler for luculent

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The first known use of luculent was circa 1548

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Cite this Entry

“Luculent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jun. 2021.

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