trans·​lu·​cent | \tran(t)s-ˈlü-sᵊnt, tranz-\

Definition of translucent 

1 : permitting the passage of light:

a : transmitting and diffusing light so that objects beyond cannot be seen clearly

b : clear, transparent translucent water

2 : free from disguise or falseness his translucent patriotismNewsweek

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Other Words from translucent

translucently adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for translucent

clear, transparent, translucent, limpid mean capable of being seen through. clear implies absence of cloudiness, haziness, or muddiness. clear water transparent implies being so clear that objects can be seen distinctly. a transparent sheet of film translucent implies the passage of light but not a clear view of what lies beyond. translucent frosted glass limpid suggests the soft clearness of pure water. her eyes were limpid pools of blue

Did You Know?

Look closely and you will see the same three letters in "translucent" and "elucidate," letting the family relationship between the two words shine through. Both terms descend from the Latin word lucēre, meaning "to shine." ("Translucent" is from "lucēre" plus "trans-," which means "through.") When you "elucidate" something, you make it clear by explaining it in a way that can be easily understood - you "shed light on" it. "Lucēre" is also the root of another bright and shining English word, "lucid," which can mean either "bright with light" or "clear and easy to understand."

Examples of translucent in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Add scallions and garlic to skillet and cook, stirring often, until scallions are softened and white parts are translucent and lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Claire Saffitz, Bon Appetit, "Shrimp and No-Stir Grits," 14 May 2018 Add onion, garlic and corn kernels; cook until onions are translucent. Lucy Saunders, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Cooking 101: New Marquette classes aim to raise students' kitchen GPA," 27 Apr. 2018 Kayaks are free to use (although not the translucent one, which costs money to rent). Lizette Alvarez, New York Times, "The Cheeca Lodge Is Back, Tiki Bar and All," 23 June 2018 Saute until the shrimp are done and the onions are translucent. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, "Potato, shrimp and chorizo hash is a spicy delight," 20 May 2018 This pushes the feathers out of the way, revealing fat deposits that are visible through translucent skin. Ben Raines,, "Tiny birds, incredible journey," 20 Apr. 2018 Both possessed bright red fruit flavors — strawberries, red raspberries, Montmorency cherries — light, forward, juicy and translucent, with textures that emphasize immediacy over complexity. Patrick Comiskey,, "Why you should be drinking Gamay Noir this summer," 11 July 2018 Plastic Code 5: Polypropylene These plastics are strong, often translucent, and bear a waxy surface. Jordan Cutler-tietjen, sacbee, "Do you take recycling seriously? Here's how Sacramento's waste rules are changing," 10 July 2018 Cook, stirring, until some grains are translucent, about 4 minutes. Andy Baraghani, Bon Appetit, "Risi e Bisi," 14 May 2018

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

1607, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for translucent

Latin translucent-, translucens, present participle of translucēre to shine through, from trans- + lucēre to shine — more at light

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Last Updated

8 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for translucent

The first known use of translucent was in 1607

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More Definitions for translucent



English Language Learners Definition of translucent

: not completely clear or transparent but clear enough to allow light to pass through


trans·​lu·​cent | \trans-ˈlü-sᵊnt \

Kids Definition of translucent

: not transparent but clear enough to allow rays of light to pass through


trans·​lu·​cent | \-ᵊnt \

Medical Definition of translucent 

: permitting the passage of light especially : transmitting and diffusing light so that objects beyond cannot be seen clearly

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More from Merriam-Webster on translucent

Spanish Central: Translation of translucent

Nglish: Translation of translucent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of translucent for Arabic Speakers

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