Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The quality or state of being opaque.
  • n. Something opaque.
  • n. Obscurity; impenetrability.
  • n. Dullness of mind.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The state or quality of being opaque, not allowing light to pass through
  • n. The state or quality of being inaccessible to understanding
  • n. A measure of relative impenetrability to electromagnetic radiation such as light.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The state of being opaque; the quality of a body which renders it impervious to the rays of light; want of transparency; opaqueness.
  • n. Obscurity; want of clearness.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The state of being opaque; opaqueness; the quality of a body which renders it impervious to the rays of light; want of transparency.
  • n. That which is opaque; an opaque body or object; an opaque part or spot.
  • n. Darkness; obscurity.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the phenomenon of not permitting the passage of electromagnetic radiation
  • n. the quality of being opaque to a degree; the degree to which something reduces the passage of light
  • n. incomprehensibility resulting from obscurity of meaning

Etymologies

French opacité, from Old French, from Latin opācitās, from opācus, dark.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French opacité. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • That slight opacity translates into more visual impact for visitors once they step inside.

    Gehry Leaves the Risks to the Kids

  • But as its opacity is a double edged sword, it is also much more susceptible to rent seeking as is evidenced in the form of the proposed Waxmen-Markey bill whereby 85% of the emissions permits would be allocated as opposed to auctioned off.

    Cap and Trade= Carbon Tax + Corporate Welfare part 1 million and five

  • Our President believes in opacity, works in secret, tells us nothing, and when we see the photo ops, its only corporate and banking power sitting with him at the table.

    Matthew Yglesias » Transparent Negotiations

  • BUT to compare Windows and Linux and make a statement like the above about opacity is ignorant at best misleading and deceitful at worse.

    Why Walter Bender Left One Laptop Per Child - Bits Blog - NYTimes.com

  • The play of light and opacity is analogous to the relation of gaze and screen: "It is always that gleam of light — it lay at the heart of my little story — it is always this which prevents me, at each point, from being a screen, from making the light appear as an iridescence that overflows it" (96).

    The Ordinary Sky: Wordsworth, Blanchot, and the Writing of Disaster

  • Meridor said he exchanged a friendly greeting with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has been one of the most vocal critics of Israel's policy of "opacity" -- refusing to confirm or deny reports that it has up to 200 nuclear warheads.

    JTA - Recent News

  • In particular, I think that the morphological opacity is quite natural (compare Steven Pinker’s example of claiming a baseball hitter “flied out” instead of “flew out”), with only minimal help from your “differentiation” point.

    Short Sale Your House! (Don’t short sell it.) « Motivated Grammar

  • Their opacity was a contributor to the financial crisis because it was very hard to figure out the counterparty risks in the system.

    The Race To Finish Financial Reform

  • And a lot of those issues have to do with what I've come to think of as a kind of crisis of epistemology in our capitalist institutions; that is to say, a crisis of understanding with the -- within the institutions themselves that are related to what you might call opacity; that is to say, an inability to see clearly what's going on and hence to understand clearly what's going on.

    CFR.org -

  • It has a bunch of awesome layouts, changed by pressing win-space, and windows that don't have focus automatically have 90% opacity, which is beautiful, if you ask me.

    Everything2 New Writeups

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