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elsabet commented on the word phosphene
From the OED:
(n). A subjective sensation of light produced by mechanical stimulation of the retina (as by pressure on the eyeball) or by electrical stimulation of various parts of the visual pathway.
1967 New Yorker 23 Dec. 32/2
"Now with your knuckles rub your eyelids, seeingThe phosphenes caper like St. Elmo's fire."
September 22, 2007
elsabet commented on the word opalesque
(a.) Resembling an opal in colour or iridescence; opalescent.
1891 J. W. LINTON Catoninetales 43
What strange reflections doth he make? How opalesque his eyes!
June 29, 2007
elsabet commented on the word opalescence
(n.) The quality of being opalescent; the display of various colours as in precious opal; milky iridescence. Also: an instance or appearance of this.
1954 S. WALLACE Coll. Poems v. 102
Of green blooms turning crisped the motley hue
To clearing opalescence.
elsabet commented on the word opalesce
To exhibit iridescence like that of precious opal. Also fig.
1870 J. SMITH Chris & Otho 16
You do opalesce with every passing moment. You are red, fiery--green, jealous--yellow, suspicious.
elsabet commented on the word nacreosity
(n.) Iridescence resembling that of nacre.
1931 Observer 27 Sept. 10
Nacreosity is a pearly iridescence.
elsabet commented on the word iridocyte
(n.) A cell which refracts light to cause iridescence, found in the skin of fishes, cephalopods, and certain other animals.
1893 CUNNINGHAM & MACMUNN in Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B. CLXXXIV. 767
The chief features of the iridocytes are their regularity of outline, and their great reflecting power.
June 28, 2007
elsabet commented on the word pavonine
(a.) Resembling the neck or tail of a peacock in colouring or iridescence.
1991 R. CONDON Final Addiction 211
He was put down on a beach which overlooked a pavonine sea on which slumped the guilty tanker, Bergquist, impaled on its villainous reef.
elsabet commented on the word sundog
1896 KIPLING Seven Seas, Three Sealers 68
And they saw the sun-dogs in the haze and the seal upon the shore.
elsabet commented on the word irised
(a.) Having the colours of the rainbow; coloured by a rainbow.
1880 Scribner's Mag. July 347
Bathing from time to time in waftings of irised spray.
elsabet commented on the word iridescence
Related words from the OED:
iridesce (v. intr.)
To exhibit iridescence; to shine in an iridescent manner.
1905 J. LONDON Jacket (1915) 48
Sun-flashed water where coral-growths iridesced from profounds of turquoise deeps.
Displaying colours like those of the rainbow, or those reflected from soap-bubbles and the like; glittering or flashing with colours which change according to the position from which they are viewed.
1879 G. ALLEN Colour-Sense i. 5
We do not owe to the colour-sense the existence in nature of the rainbow, the sunset, or the other effects of iridescent light.
1873 BLACKIE Self-Cult. (1874) 84
The best fictions, without a deep moral significance beneath, are only iridescent froth.
Rainbow-like; brilliantly coloured.
1888 A. UPWARD Songs in Ziklag 146 Consistency ii,
Truth's iridian arch.
Brilliant with rainbow colours.
1862 S. LUCAS Secularia 100
The iridical window and the flaming shrine.
1851 S. JUDD Margaret I. xiv. (Ward & Lock) 110
The horned-pout, with its pearly iridine breast and iron-brown back.
iridize (v. trans.)
To make iridescent.
The action or process of showing prismatic colours as in the rainbow; irisation.
1884 Pop. Sci. Monthly June 288
M. Cornu lately described to the French Academy of Sciences a white rainbow...This rainbow was wholly white, without even as much iridization as is noticeable in halos, and had a fleecy appearance.
elsabet commented on the word weathergall
(n.) An imperfect rainbow, believed to be a presage of storm.
1594 SHAKES. Lucr. 1588
And round about her teare-distained eye
Blew circles stream'd, like Rain-bows in the skie.
These watergalls in her dim Element,
Foretell new stormes.
1823 J. F. COOPER Pilot I. ii. 19
There be streaked wind-galls in the offing, that speak...plainly...to shorten sail.
elsabet commented on the word brede
(n.) Applied by the poets to things that show or suggest interweaving of colours, or embroidery, esp. to the prismatic colouring of the rainbow. But used by some modern writers in sense of 'colouring, dye', apparently from misunderstanding their predecessors.
1869 LOWELL Seaweed iv,
The same wave that rims the Carib shore
With momentary brede of pearl and gold.
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