opal·es·cent | \ˌō-pə-ˈle-sᵊnt \

Definition of opalescent 

: reflecting an iridescent light

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from opalescent

opalescence \ˌō-pə-ˈle-sᵊn(t)s \ noun
opalescently \ˌō-pə-ˈle-sᵊnt-lē \ adverb

Synonyms for opalescent


iridescent, nacreous

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of opalescent in a Sentence

once given away as a cheap prize at carnivals, this opalesecent glass is now highly prized by collectors

Recent Examples on the Web

The opalescent white went on as my highlight, on my cheekbones and down the bridge of my nose. refinery29.com, "I Found The Palette Bella Hadid Uses To Get Her Red-Carpet Glow — & I'm Obsessed," 24 June 2018 Saluting the Balmain army Balmain also fashioned a short and sassy custom creation for Mrs. Carter out of opalescent material. Erin Jensen, USA TODAY, "See Beyonce's jaw-dropping, high-fashion looks from her 'On the Run II' tour with Jay-Z," 7 June 2018 For the face, Starr made an opalescent face powder called Hot and Heavy, which is a neutral tan shade with gold shimmer that can be used all over for a golden finish similar to M.A.C’s Skin Finish. Shannon Barbour, The Cut, "Who’s Ready for ‘Sandy Crotch’ Eye Shadow?," 31 May 2018 The raw flesh of the fish is opalescent, fine-grained and smooth and nearly translucent, with a flavor to match. Ben Lowy, Smithsonian, "The Lionfish Have Invaded, But a Ragtag Army of Divers and Chefs Are Fighting Back," 23 May 2018 Moonstone is an opalescent shade allegedly infused with rose quartz crystals and a moisturizing oil core. Jessica Prince Erlich, The Cut, "The 15 Best Highlighters," 11 May 2018 Folks, get into opalescent hair, which mixes iridescent pinks, purples, greens, and blues on a pearly, platinum base. Kelsi Zimmerman, Allure, "13 Stunning Opal Hair-Color Ideas That Are Trending for 2018," 28 Mar. 2018 There are three iterations of this Ciaté Dewy Stix — a pinky iridescence, an opalescent champagne shimmer, and a translucent glow. Sable Yong, Allure, "7 Highlighters That Will Make You Look As Good As These Glazed Donuts," 27 Oct. 2017 Why all the hype? Zipped in an opalescent pouch was the rub-on, rinse-off coffee scrub mixed with mica for shimmer. Jesa Marie Calaor, Allure, "Frank Body's Super Popular Shimmer Scrub Is Back in Stock," 26 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'opalescent.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of opalescent

circa 1813, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about opalescent

Share opalescent

Dictionary Entries near opalescent


opal blue





opal glass

Statistics for opalescent

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for opalescent

The first known use of opalescent was circa 1813

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for opalescent


opal·es·cent | \ˌō-pə-ˈles-ᵊnt \

Medical Definition of opalescent 

: reflecting an iridescent light saliva is a viscous opalescent fluid

Other Words from opalescent

opalescence \-ᵊn(t)s \ noun
opalescently \-ᵊnt-lē \ adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on opalescent

See words that rhyme with opalescent

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for opalescent

Comments on opalescent

What made you want to look up opalescent? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


evasion of direct action or statement

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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