pel·​lu·​cid pə-ˈlü-səd How to pronounce pellucid (audio)
: admitting maximum passage of light without diffusion or distortion
a pellucid stream
: reflecting light evenly from all surfaces
: easy to understand
pellucidly adverb

Did you know?

Pellucid is formed from Latin per ("through") plus lucidus—a word meaning "lucid, clear" that ultimately derives from the verb lucēre, meaning "to shine." Lucēre has many shining relatives in English. Among them are translucent (essentially, "clear enough to allow light to pass through"), elucidate ("to make clear, explain"), lucent ("luminous" or "clear"), and of course lucid itself (which can mean "shining," "mentally sound," or "easily understood"). Another related word is Lucifer (a name for the devil that literally means "light-bearer"). Other relatives—such as lackluster ("lacking brightness"), illustrate (originally, "to make bright"), and lustrous ("shining" or "radiant")—trace from the related Latin verb lustrare ("to brighten"). Clearly, pellucid is just one of a family of brilliant terms.

Examples of pellucid in a Sentence

the pellucid waters that lap upon that island's beaches her poetry has a pellucid simplicity that betrays none of the sweat that went into writing it
Recent Examples on the Web As in all his books and essays, Brown’s prose is pellucid, meditative, courteous. Michael Dirda, Washington Post, 9 June 2023 Later, his industry and his pellucid style gave him other successes, as a writer of slice-of-life novels, an idiosyncratic left-wing polemicist, and a public explainer. Stephanie Burt, The New Republic, 29 Mar. 2022 The dish is traditionally served cold, but the CheLi chef Wang Lin Qun’s version is pleasantly warm, allowing the pellucid skin to caramelize into an ambrosial crunch. The New Yorker, 17 Sep. 2021 The outer movements mixed thoughtful vigor with pellucid lyricism., 13 July 2021 Giselle’s signature steps — rocking ballottés and teasing ballonnés and high-kicking grands jeté-passés — were pellucid; the traveling ronds de jambe could hardly have been faster or cleaner., 21 Sep. 2019 To reach the restoration site where this crew is working, Silver traversed a realm of perfection: cool, pellucid pools and side channels of Elk Creek, a tributary of the Hoh. Lynda V. Mapes, The Seattle Times, 27 May 2018

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

Word History


Latin pellucidus, from per through + lucidus lucid — more at for

First Known Use

1563, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of pellucid was in 1563


Dictionary Entries Near pellucid

Cite this Entry

“Pellucid.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


pel·​lu·​cid pə-ˈlü-səd How to pronounce pellucid (audio)
: extremely clear or transparent
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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