trans·​par·​ent | \tran(t)s-ˈper-ənt \

Definition of transparent 

1a(1) : having the property of transmitting light without appreciable scattering so that bodies lying beyond are seen clearly : pellucid

(2) : allowing the passage of a specified form of radiation (such as X-rays or ultraviolet light)

b : fine or sheer enough to be seen through : diaphanous

2a : free from pretense or deceit : frank

b : easily detected or seen through : obvious

c : readily understood

d : characterized by visibility or accessibility of information especially concerning business practices

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Other Words from transparent

transparently adverb
transparentness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for transparent

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

Examples of transparent in a Sentence

bottles of blue transparent glass his meaning in leaving the conversation is transparent: he doesn't want to talk about his combat experiences

Recent Examples on the Web

Being more transparent about both its technology and its testing efforts could help. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Fully driverless Waymo taxis are due out this year, alarming critics," 1 Oct. 2018 To be fair, Instagram didn't set out to deceive users: The app was transparent about how polls worked from the start. Madeline Buxton,, "Instagram Stories' New Questions Sticker Should Come With A Warning Label," 10 July 2018 Latest Stories Facebook broke the law by failing to safeguard people's information and was not transparent about how data was harvested, the British regulator said. NBC News, "U.K. will fine Facebook over Cambridge Analytica data breaches, regulator says," 10 July 2018 The limited-edition designs feature a transparent polycarbonate cabin case that comes in both black and white. Maggie Maloney, Town & Country, "RIMOWA and Aesop Just Launched an Incredible New Travel Kit," 18 Oct. 2018 One of the most far-reaching changes rewriting the way real estate professionals do business has been the rise of industry-specific technology, startups, and better and more transparent analytics. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "The 10 top emerging trends that will shape real estate in 2019," 10 Oct. 2018 But a way to help break down any standards is to be transparent and honest. Lily Rose, Teen Vogue, "Jennifer Lawrence Wants Celebrities to Be More Honest About Their Bodies," 11 Sep. 2018 The sudden shift may seem heavy-handed and the message a little obvious, but the music is beguiling, not so much simple as transparent and generous. New York Times, "Is ‘Mass’ Leonard Bernstein’s Best Work, or His Worst?," 13 July 2018 Finishes include sealers that preserve the wood's look, semi-transparent and semi-solid stains that bring out the wood grains but tint the color, and solid stains and paints that change the color. Brett Martin, House Beautiful, "What A Deck Renovation Actually Costs," 13 July 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

History and Etymology for transparent

Middle English, from Medieval Latin transparent-, transparens, present participle of transparēre to show through, from Latin trans- + parēre to show oneself

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Last Updated

2 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for transparent

The first known use of transparent was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for transparent



English Language Learners Definition of transparent

: able to be seen through

: easy to notice or understand

: honest and open : not secretive


trans·​par·​ent | \trans-ˈper-ənt \

Kids Definition of transparent

1 : clear enough or thin enough to be seen through

2 : easily detected a transparent lie

Other Words from transparent

transparently adverb


trans·​par·​ent | \-ənt \

Medical Definition of transparent 

1 : having the property of transmitting light without appreciable scattering so that bodies lying beyond are seen clearly

2 : allowing the passage of a specified form of radiation (as X-rays or ultraviolet light)

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Comments on transparent

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to enclose within walls

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