lu·​mi·​nes·​cence | \ ˌlü-mə-ˈne-sᵊn(t)s How to pronounce luminescence (audio) \

Definition of luminescence

: the low-temperature emission of light (as by a chemical or physiological process) also : light produced by luminescence

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Other Words from luminescence

luminescent \ ˌlü-​mə-​ˈne-​sᵊnt How to pronounce luminescence (audio) \ adjective

Examples of luminescence in a Sentence

the luminescence of the watch we could see inside the cave even without a flashlight because of the luminescence coming from some of the fungus on the walls
Recent Examples on the Web But Earth’s thick atmosphere and magnetic bubble shield our planet from much incoming radiation, making these streaks of luminescence scarce. Maya Wei-haas, National Geographic, "One of Jupiter's icy moons may glow in the dark," 9 Nov. 2020 Using a method called optically stimulated luminescence, which measures electrons to infer when layers of sediment were last exposed to light, the team dated the sediments above and below the footprints to 121,000 and 112,000 years. Ann Gibbons, Science | AAAS, "These 120,000-year-old footprints offer early evidence for humans in Arabia," 17 Sep. 2020 He was born during a Waxing Full Moon, which means the Moon was just about to be at its peak luminescence. Lisa Stardust,, "An Astrologer Analyzes Joe Biden & Kamala Harris’ Chance Of Winning The Election," 13 Aug. 2020 In a statement, archeologist Martin Papworth says the National Trust’s ongoing analysis relies on a technique called optically stimulated luminescence. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "Snail Shells Date England’s Cerne Abbas Giant to Medieval, Not Prehistoric, Era," 9 July 2020 But across some sections, sunlight reflects with a slightly greenish luminescence. Paige Embry, Scientific American, "Slimy Mudflat Biofilms Feed Migratory Birds—and Could Be Threatened," 17 June 2020 Humboldt squid can rapidly change the pigmentation and luminescence patterns on their skin by contracting and relaxing their muscles, possibly to communicate. Susanne Bard, Scientific American, "Squid's Glowing Skin Patterns May Be Code," 2 Apr. 2020 Lucara has pioneered the use of X-ray transmission technology, known as XRT, which scans objects for a specific atomic signature, rather than for a physical characteristic, such as luminescence or weight. Ed Caesar, The New Yorker, "The Woman Shaking Up the Diamond Industry Finds Yet Another Huge Gem," 8 Feb. 2020 The Hall Rutherford wine caves in the hills of California's Napa Valley boast a chandelier with 1,500 Swarovski crystals, an onyx banquet table to reflect its luminescence and bottles of cabernet sauvignon that sell for as much as $900. NBC News, "'Wine cave': Inside Buttigieg's high-priced underground fundraiser," 20 Dec. 2019

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

1889, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for luminescence

International Scientific Vocabulary lumin- + -escence

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Time Traveler for luminescence

Time Traveler

The first known use of luminescence was in 1889

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Statistics for luminescence

Last Updated

20 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Luminescence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for luminescence


How to pronounce luminescence (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of luminescence

technical : the creation of light by processes that do not involve heat also : the light created


lu·​mi·​nes·​cence | \ ˌlü-mə-ˈnes-ᵊn(t)s How to pronounce luminescence (audio) \

Medical Definition of luminescence

: the low-temperature emission of light produced especially by physiological processes (as in the firefly), by chemical action, by friction, or by electrical action also : light produced by luminescence

Other Words from luminescence

luminesce \ -​ˈnes How to pronounce luminescence (audio) \ intransitive verb luminesced; luminescing
luminescent \ -​ᵊnt How to pronounce luminescence (audio) \ adjective

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