opacity

noun
opac·​i·​ty | \ ō-ˈpa-sə-tē How to pronounce opacity (audio) \
plural opacities

Definition of opacity

1a : 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)

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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 As Tedros and the WHO publicly praised China’s response, internal recordings show WHO leaders privately complained about China’s opacity. Jerry Dunleavy, Washington Examiner, "WHO admits China never reported the existence of coronavirus outbreak," 2 July 2020 In 2015 Jim Bailey, an experimental physicist at Sandia National Laboratories, and his colleagues reported that the opacity of iron in the sun is indeed higher than expected. Ken Croswell, Scientific American, "An Elemental Problem with the Sun," 1 July 2020 That opacity doesn't always work in a service's or studio's favor, because box office totals and TV ratings are more than a metric of success. Frank Pallotta, CNN, "Will 'Hamilton' be a hit for Disney+? It'll be hard to tell," 29 June 2020 Apple is technically also within its rights to be opaque about the rules, but that opacity is not good for anyone. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "Why one email app went to war with Apple—and why neither one is right," 17 June 2020 Both sides, however, offered only scant details of the talks in Hawaii, which were conducted with unusual opacity, usually reserved for only the most sensitive diplomatic missions. Steven Lee Myers, BostonGlobe.com, "China lashes out at the United States over Xinjiang sanctions law," 18 June 2020 As Tedros and the WHO publicly praised China’s response, internal recordings show WHO leaders privately complained about China’s opacity. Jerry Dunleavy, Washington Examiner, "House GOP report calls for WHO firings and reforms to prevent next pandemic," 15 June 2020 The fundamental problem is that the complexity and opacity of online voting systems creates numerous opportunities for a hacker to tamper with a ballot during the submission process. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Researchers say online voting tech used in 5 states is fatally flawed," 10 June 2020 On x-rays and computerized tomography scans, their lungs are riddled with white opacities where black space—air—should be (see graphic). Meredith Wadman, Science | AAAS, "How does coronavirus kill? Clinicians trace a ferocious rampage through the body, from brain to toes," 17 Apr. 2020

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

1575, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for opacity

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

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Time Traveler for opacity

Time Traveler

The first known use of opacity was in 1575

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Statistics for opacity

Last Updated

5 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Opacity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/opacity. Accessed 9 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for opacity

opacity

noun
How to pronounce opacity (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of opacity

: the quality of a material that does not allow light to pass through it : the quality of being opaque
formal : the quality of being difficult to understand or explain

opacity

noun
opac·​i·​ty | \ ō-ˈpas-ət-ē How to pronounce opacity (audio) \
plural opacities

Medical Definition of opacity

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)

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Comments on opacity

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