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

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 group of 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 Those of us who are basically translucent are quite familiar with this annoying ritual, though our more swarthy companions should also pay attention. cleveland, 18 July 2022 Here’s a translucent powder that’s an absolute must to lock your makeup in place, especially once the weather really heats up. Melody Leibner, Harper's BAZAAR, 10 June 2022 Hep offers a few extra tips: use an applicator mitt and sweep it along the contours of your body in lengthways motions, set tan with translucent powder, and buff off excess tan on your eyebrows with a clean spoolie. Kiana Murden, Vogue, 9 June 2022 This isn't an entirely necessary step, but for those looking to go the extra mile, DiMarchi recommends applying a translucent powder atop the tanner before bed. Kayleigh Donahue Hodes, Allure, 26 Mar. 2022 Cook the shrimp until no longer translucent and browned in spots with nice grill marks outside, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Ellie Krieger, Washington Post, 9 June 2022 If a recipe calls for sautéing onions until translucent, do that step on sauté mode. Magdalena O'neal, Sunset Magazine, 15 Feb. 2022 Cook the yellow onion in the remaining fat until translucent, three to four minutes, stirring occasionally. Christine Byrne, Outside Online, 16 Jan. 2021 Sauté for about three minutes, until the onions are translucent. The Editors, Outside Online, 23 June 2022 See More

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.

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

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The first known use of translucent was in 1568

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Dictionary Entries Near translucent



translucent reflector

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Last Updated

2 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Translucent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for translucent


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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