opacity

noun

opac·​i·​ty ō-ˈpa-sə-tē How to pronounce opacity (audio)
plural opacities
1
a
: obscurity of sense : unintelligibility
b
: the quality or state of being mentally obtuse : dullness
2
: the quality or state of a body that makes it impervious to the rays of light
broadly : the relative capacity of matter to obstruct the transmission of radiant energy
3
: an opaque spot in a normally transparent structure (such as the lens of the eye)

Examples of opacity in a Sentence

the opacity of the glass Critics have noted the opacity of her writing style.
Recent Examples on the Web Image: Microsoft Speaking of the shapes toolbar, Microsoft is adding the ability to change the opacity of shape fill and the outline colors. Tom Warren, The Verge, 9 May 2024 The increasing opacity of state government decision making is compounded by its having data systems that are clunky and often offer only outdated information. Dan Walters, The Mercury News, 30 Apr. 2024 The Private Markets Conundrum: Transparency and Data Challenges Contrary to the perception of opacity, Franks posits that private markets offer a unique transparency advantage, facilitated by the direct data flow between Limited Partners (LPs) and General Partners (GPs). Josipa Majic Predin, Forbes, 27 Mar. 2024 The opacity and unpredictability of Chinese authorities creates risks for international acts, many of whom have also noticeably skipped Hong Kong as well as mainland China on their Asia tours in the recent years. Heather Chen, CNN, 10 Feb. 2024 Many cases have been for 500-pound bombs, said a U.S. official, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivities and opacity around arms sales. Edward Wong, New York Times, 6 Apr. 2024 Many in this city of skeptics question how well the MTA will spend the money, given its history of mismanagement, graft, and opacity. Hillary Chura, The Christian Science Monitor, 2 Apr. 2024 Next was the water’s opacity: The thick sediment blinded Rambelli and Felipe, researchers at the Federal University of Sergipe, just feet beneath the surface. Rafael Vilela, Washington Post, 31 Mar. 2024 What percentage of ground glass opacities are cancerous? Leah Groth, Health, 30 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'opacity.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Middle French opacité shadiness, from Latin opacitat-, opacitas, from opacus shaded, dark

First Known Use

1575, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of opacity was in 1575

Dictionary Entries Near opacity

Cite this Entry

“Opacity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/opacity. Accessed 20 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

opacity

noun
opac·​i·​ty ō-ˈpas-ət-ē How to pronounce opacity (audio)
plural opacities
: the quality or state of being opaque

Medical Definition

opacity

noun
opac·​i·​ty ō-ˈpas-ət-ē How to pronounce opacity (audio)
plural opacities
1
: the quality or state of a body that makes it impervious to the rays of light
broadly : the relative capacity of matter to obstruct by absorption or reflection the transmission of radiant energy (as X-rays, infrared radiation, or sound)
2
: an opaque spot in a normally transparent structure (as the lens of the eye)

More from Merriam-Webster on opacity

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!