lu·​mi·​nes·​cence | \ ˌlü-mə-ˈne-sᵊn(t)s \

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 \ 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

Spawning females start to secrete their bright blue-green luminescence to attract males. Laura Yan, Popular Mechanics, "These Tiny Fireworms Light up to Make Love," 11 Aug. 2018 The luminescence is converted to digital code with a low-power luminometer chip, and the signal is transmitted wirelessly to an external receiving device. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "This capsule of glowing E. coli will probe your gut for signs of trouble," 25 May 2018 The age of the sediments around the bones was calculated using optically stimulated luminescence—a technique that reveals the last time rocks and sand were exposed to sunlight. Lorraine Boissoneault, Smithsonian, "Rare 85,000-year-old Finger May Complicate Our Understanding of African Migration," 10 Apr. 2018 Using a relatively new technique called optically stimulated luminescence, which indicates the last time a grain of sand was exposed to sunlight, researchers were able to show that the two sites were occupied at the time of the eruption. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Ancient Humans Weathered the Toba Supervolcano Just Fine," 14 Mar. 2018 Sevnth brings a certain colorful luminescence to the beat, and Alo is perfectly coy and cool on top of its energy. Kat Bein, Billboard, "The 5 Best Remixes & Covers of Drake's 'God's Plan'," 22 Feb. 2018 At dusk, alpenglow casts El Capitan in an orange luminescence, its towering wall stark and ominous. Tom Stienstra, San Francisco Chronicle, "‘June-uary’ turns Yosemite Valley into private jewel," 4 Feb. 2018 Using luminescence dating, researchers determined that the Levallois tools dated between to 385,000 and 172,000 years ago. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Stone Tool Discovery in India Raises Questions About Spread of Ancient Technology," 2 Feb. 2018 The trick will be to balance the exposure between the luminescence of the blood moon with the surrounding landscape. Michel Fortier, San Antonio Express-News, "Express-News photo editor explains how to photograph the super blue blood moon," 30 Jan. 2018

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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Last Updated

17 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for luminescence

The first known use of luminescence was in 1889

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More Definitions for luminescence



English Language Learners Definition of luminescence

: 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 \

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 \ intransitive verb luminesced; luminescing
luminescent \ -​ᵊnt \ adjective

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Comments on luminescence

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