lu·​cu·​lent ˈlü-kyə-lənt How to pronounce luculent (audio)
: clear in thought or expression : lucid
the interviewee was luculent and personable
luculently adverb

Did you know?

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" senses have fallen out of use, and even the "clear" sense is now rare. 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

Word History


Latin luculentus, from luc-, lux light

First Known Use

circa 1548, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of luculent was circa 1548


Dictionary Entries Near luculent

Cite this Entry

“Luculent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2024.

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