opaque

adjective
\ 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 held 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 The shape of the true enemy is finally clear on The Nevers, even if her motivations and intentions remain opaque. Amanda Whiting, Vulture, "The Nevers Recap: Freak Shows," 18 Apr. 2021 Chinese economic data is always a bit opaque at the start of the year because the shifting dates of the Lunar New Year holiday make year-over-year comparisons and seasonal adjustments difficult. Nathaniel Taplin, WSJ, "Chinese Monetary Policy Looks Looser than Advertised," 15 Mar. 2021 The bill’s author, Ed Chau, a Democrat who represents Monterey Park, a city just east of Los Angeles, said in an email that such algorithms have historically been opaque to most people. NBC News, "Tenant screening software faces national reckoning," 14 Mar. 2021 Though some research has found that coronaviruses like SARS CoV-2 tend to peak during the winter and decline after that, the concept of seasonality in relation to COVID-19 is still a bit opaque. Annie Vainshtein, San Francisco Chronicle, "Key reasons coronavirus cases are plunging across the Bay Area and California," 21 Feb. 2021 Ever since the 2017 white nationalist march in Charlottesville, Va., armed groups have become fixtures at demonstrations around the country, although membership numbers remain opaque. Lyndon French • New York Times, Star Tribune, "A few keystrokes summon vigilantes to Kenosha, Wisconsin," 17 Oct. 2020 Ever since the 2017 white nationalist march in Charlottesville, Va., armed groups have become fixtures at demonstrations around the country, although membership numbers remain opaque. Neil Macfarquhar, New York Times, "When Armed Vigilantes Are Summoned With a Few Keystrokes," 16 Oct. 2020 In contrast, classic data visualizations often succeed, paradoxically, by being a bit opaque: a puzzle that a reader figures out. Andrew Gelman, Wired, "Is Your Chart a Detective Story? Or a Police Report?," 25 Aug. 2020 The first round of doses for people over forty-five ran out, and the communication was, again, extremely opaque. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, "India’s Uncounted COVID-19 Deaths," 27 Apr. 2021

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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Statistics for opaque

Last Updated

12 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Opaque.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/opaque. Accessed 14 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for opaque

opaque

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of opaque

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

opaque

adjective
\ 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

opaque

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

Medical Definition of opaque

: exhibiting opacity : not pervious to radiant energy

Other Words from opaque

opaqueness noun

Comments on opaque

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