phosphorescence

noun

phos·​pho·​res·​cence ˌfäs-fə-ˈre-sᵊn(t)s How to pronounce phosphorescence (audio)
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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web In general, phosphorescence signals are much longer-lasting than their fluorescent counterparts, allowing the Biofinder to distinguish between them. Allison Gasparini, Scientific American, 27 July 2022 Abiotic minerals also emit their own light, called phosphorescence. Allison Gasparini, Scientific American, 27 July 2022 Unlike sparkling dinoflagellates, bioluminescent bacteria produce a constant phosphorescence. Grrlscientist, Forbes, 11 July 2022 Last was the stadium wave and sparkling light rolled around Bryant-Denny like phosphorescence in a boat wake. Joseph Goodman | Jgoodman@al.com, al, 20 Nov. 2021 Luminescence in general can come from different sources—like the biochemical reaction that happens in fireflies, or the phosphorescence of the 2021 glowing plant. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, 11 Oct. 2021 The show’s one flaw, at least for me, was Celeste’s efforts to find and combine three different sources of light — phosphorescence, incandescence and iridescence — in order to create luminescence, which isn’t really how that works. San Diego Union-Tribune, 20 Apr. 2021 Unfortunately, the phosphorescence also gives the sails the slightest green tinge in daylight. Kriston Capps, Washington Post, 28 Oct. 2020 With the eerie phosphorescence of her signature watercolor technique, her paintings carry both a sense of otherworldliness and a playful, winking humor. Liam Hess, Vogue, 26 Oct. 2020 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use

1770, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of phosphorescence was in 1770

Dictionary Entries Near phosphorescence

Cite this Entry

“Phosphorescence.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/phosphorescence. Accessed 27 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

phosphorescence

noun

phos·​pho·​res·​cence ˌfäs-fə-ˈres-ᵊn(t)s How to pronounce phosphorescence (audio)
1
: a light given off at low temperatures that is caused by the absorption of radiations (as X-rays or ultraviolet light) and continuing for a noticeable time after these radiations have stopped
2
: an enduring light given off with little heat

Medical Definition

phosphorescence

noun

phos·​pho·​res·​cence -ˈres-ᵊn(t)s How to pronounce phosphorescence (audio)
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

More from Merriam-Webster on phosphorescence

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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


The Great British Vocabulary Quiz

  • union jack speech bubble
  • Named after Sir Robert Peel, what are British police called?
Spell It

Hear a word and type it out. How many can you get right?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ