Definition of phosphorescence
1 : luminescence that is caused by the absorption of radiations (such as light or electrons) and continues for a noticeable time after these radiations have stopped — compare fluorescence
2 : an enduring luminescence without sensible heat
Recent Examples of phosphorescence from the Web
On one overnight trip across the Channel, the ship’s paddle wheels churned up the glowing phosphorescence in the water, leaving a visible wake that made the 180-foot ship an easy target for German bombers.
Then came April and the buds on tree branches took on an immature phosphorescence.
Digging my hands through the water left sparkly white trails — what Igel calls pixie dust — because of phosphorescence in the water.
In short (super-short), the difference between fluorescence and phosphorescence is time.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'phosphorescence.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
First Known Use of phosphorescence
Medical Definition of phosphorescence
1: luminescence that is caused by the absorption of radiation at one wavelength followed by delayed reradiation at a different wavelength and that continues for a noticeable time after the incident radiation stops
2: an enduring luminescence without sensible heat
Learn More about phosphorescence
Spanish Central: Translation of phosphorescence Nglish: Translation of phosphorescence for Spanish speakers Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about phosphorescence
Seen and Heard
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