\ ō-ˈpāk How to pronounce opaque (audio) \

Definition of opaque

1 : blocking the passage of radiant energy and especially light : exhibiting opacity (see opacity sense 1)
2a : hard to understand or explain opaque prose

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Other Words from opaque

opaque noun
opaquely adverb
opaqueness noun

Examples of opaque in a Sentence

In the opening hour, a group of strangers receive a maddeningly opaque cell-phone summons to join a secret cross-country race with a $32 million prize. The thing is, the summons can also be a threat (one competitor's wife is possibly being help captive), and the consequences of falling behind are murderous. — Tom Gliatto, People, 23 Apr. 2007 The reality facing Rory Stewart was that he was sent into a collapsed rural region in a country of which he knew almost nothing, and in which he had to find his way through a maze of opaque tribal and religious relationships. — Robert Skidelsky, New York Review of Books, 5 Oct. 2006 Arborio rice, the kind that grows in the Po Valley and gave rise to the wonderful dish risotto, has a tiny opaque white pearl on the inside that remains al dente, and starch on the outside that the grains release during cooking, making a creamy sauce. — Corby Kummer, Atlantic, March 1993 the opaque water of the muddy river somehow listeners seem to connect with the songwriter, despite his deeply personal, often opaque lyrics
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Recent Examples on the Web By contrast, prisoners like Eddie Brown, an Oklahoma man who has served a bigger portion of his sentence than Cohen and also cites health problems, remain behind bars, raising questions about the Bureau of Prisons' opaque process and its fairness. NBC News, "Eighth Amazon warehouse worker dies," 23 May 2020 Doctors then raised questions about the opaque process for getting the therapy to U.S. hospitals. Bloomberg.com, "U.S. Cases Up 2.1%; Travelers to U.K. Must Isolate: Virus Update," 5 May 2020 Add 1 Tbsp salt to boiling water, then add pasta and shrimp and cook until shrimp are just opaque throughout, 2 to 3 minutes. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Green Olive Shrimp Pasta," 30 Apr. 2020 Hospital and health officials describe an opaque process in which federal officials sweep in without warning to expropriate supplies. Noam N. Levey, Anchorage Daily News, "Hospitals across US say feds are seizing masks and other coronavirus supplies without a word," 8 Apr. 2020 The various scenarios are complicated by both the unpredictability of the White House and the opaque processes of decision-making in Iran. Tim Lister, CNN, "After the Saudi oil attacks, all options carry great risk," 16 Sep. 2019 The US Food and Drug Administration authorized remdesivir for emergency use earlier this month in a move to increase access, but the government's distribution of the drug has been opaque and confusing. Arman Azad And Elizabeth Cohen, CNN, "Doctors face 'nearly an impossible situation' as they ration remdesivir," 11 May 2020 The only real downside is that its scoring can be a bit opaque and mathy, which is at odds with the game's simple, elegant ruleset. Aaron Zimmerman, Dan Thurot, Ars Technica, "The best board games to play with your quarantined housemates," 26 Apr. 2020 The kingdom's judicial system is opaque and the numbers of people executed over the years varies slightly, as do rights groups' records as to which year had the highest execution toll prior to 2019. Saphora Smith, NBC News, "Saudi Arabia executed record number last year, Amnesty report finds," 21 Apr. 2020

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

1641, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for opaque

Latin opacus — see opacity

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Time Traveler for opaque

Time Traveler

The first known use of opaque was in 1641

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Statistics for opaque

Last Updated

29 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Opaque.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/opaque. Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for opaque


How to pronounce opaque (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of opaque

: not letting light through : not transparent
: difficult to understand or explain


\ ō-ˈpāk How to pronounce opaque (audio) \

Kids Definition of opaque

1 : not letting light through : not transparent
2 : not reflecting light : dull an opaque paint


\ ō-ˈpāk How to pronounce opaque (audio) \

Medical Definition of opaque

: exhibiting opacity : not pervious to radiant energy

Other Words from opaque

opaqueness noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on opaque

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for opaque

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with opaque

Spanish Central: Translation of opaque

Nglish: Translation of opaque for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of opaque for Arabic Speakers

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