trans·​lu·​cent | \ tran(t)s-ˈlü-sᵊnt How to pronounce translucent (audio) , 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 Backstage before the first show in a sold-out, five-night stand, the Black Pumas crew stood in a circle of solidarity, holding up translucent plastic cups of tequila for a toast and a moment of reflection. Bryan C. Parker, Rolling Stone, 1 June 2021 The research team also demonstrated that clownfish exposed to thyroid hormone-blocking chemicals developed more translucent bars and had a decreased orange coloration, the study said. Francesca Giuliani-hoffman, CNN, 26 May 2021 Spider mites operate the same way and have red bodies and translucent legs. Perri Ormont Blumberg, Southern Living, 21 May 2021 The powder has a beige tint but disappears into a translucent veil once applied with a brush. Karina Hoshikawa,, 18 May 2021 Researchers at last identified the origin of translucent spheres, up to a meter wide, found by divers off western Norway: the almost featureless blobs each carry hundreds of thousands of squid eggs in mucus. Sarah Lewin Frasier, Scientific American, 10 May 2021 One of the show’s stars, this marvelous ink and watercolor drawing features an intricate network — a kind of craquelure of flagstones — spreading out from a core of soft translucent color. New York Times, 7 May 2021 My mom used to love this translucent pink peel-off mask and the ritual of painting it onto her face. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, 5 May 2021 The self-supporting terraces were built with materials common to greenhouse construction, such as translucent polycarbonate panels and silver solar curtains. Los Angeles Times, 16 Mar. 2021

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

1568, 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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Time Traveler for translucent

Time Traveler

The first known use of translucent was in 1568

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Last Updated

3 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Translucent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jun. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce translucent (audio) \

Kids Definition of translucent

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


trans·​lu·​cent | \ -ᵊnt How to pronounce translucent (audio) \

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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