from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Admitting the passage of light; transparent or translucent. synonym: clear.
  • adjective Transparently clear in style or meaning.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Transparent.
  • Admitting the passage of light, but not properly transparent; translucent; limpid; not opaque; in entomology, transparet, but not necessarily colorless; translucent.
  • Figuratively, clear; transparent to mental vision.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Transparent; clear; limpid; translucent; not opaque.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective allowing for the passage of light; transparent
  • adjective easily understood; clear

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

  • adjective transmitting light; able to be seen through with clarity
  • adjective (of language) transparently clear; easily understandable


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

[Latin pellūcidus, from pellūcēre, to shine through : per-, through; see per– + lūcēre, to shine; see leuk- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin pellūcidus, from per- ("very") + lūcidus ("clear, bright") (from whence lucid), from lūceō ("shine, be visible"). Compare clear, crystal clear, both also with literal meaning “transparent” but metaphorical meaning “easily understood”.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word pellucid.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • allowing the maximum passage of light, as glass; translucent.

    March 26, 2007

  • This word has to be on my short list of all-time faves.

    May 23, 2007

  • I am glad she wept so much, because no heart bursts (be the occasion for the sorrow what it will) which has that kindly relief. Hence I hardly ever am moved at the sight of these pellucid fugitives in a fine woman.

    Lovelace to Belford, Clarissa by Samuel Richardson

    December 11, 2007

  • As ironic as it may be, using the word "pellucid" in a sentence makes it anything but that.

    August 19, 2008

  • This sounds like it could be the name of a Turkish dynasty.

    August 19, 2008

  • I think it is a lovely word, with light – lux – shining through (per > pel) from its core, with the tintinnabulation of the initial pell- sound. There is nothing whatsoever opaque about this word.

    August 19, 2008

  • Yes, the word, perlucid, were there one, would never work. Thank God for ancestors who used prefixes and suffixes mellifluously.

    August 19, 2008

  • I imagine it may have been the inspiration for Pella windows. Signed, Too Lazy to Read the Company Site to Find Out.

    January 22, 2009

  • Funny, I always assumed that. But then you had to go and pique my curiosity and post the Pella website. Here's what I found:


    Pete and Lucille Kuyper invest in a small Des Moines, Iowa company that manufactures Rolscreen® window screens


    The Kuypers move the company to their hometown of Pella, Iowa

    So now I'm wondering: Was Pella, IA, named after "pellucid"? ;-)

    January 23, 2009

  • Wasn't Pella the capital of Philip of Macedon and his son Alex?

    *too lazy to look it up*

    January 23, 2009

  • All right, all right. There are only so many times you can use my "too lazy to look it up" phrase to get me to look things up for you. ;-)


    YES! It was the capital of Macedonia!

    Eesh. I need a life.

    January 24, 2009

  • Thanks, Rt! It's been a busy week. I owe you one.

    January 24, 2009

  • Nah, you don't owe me anything. Just teasing. It's an editor thing, I guess (the three of us are editors of varying sorts, yes?).

    January 24, 2009

  • I do have a hat that says "COPY EDITOR", yes.

    January 24, 2009

  • Lucky you. They don't give out hats for my type. ;->

    January 25, 2009

  • Oh, I wear several hats.

    January 25, 2009

  • adj: "translucent, with the incomparable clarity of a world-class Brazilian soccer player at the top of his game, or the glowing incandescence of a Hawaiian volcano goddess".

    January 26, 2009

  • From "Au Tombeau de Charles Fourier" by Guy Davenport

    January 19, 2010