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

  • n. A blurring or spreading of light around bright areas on a photographic image.
  • n. A glow around a bright object on a television screen.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The action of light surrounding some object as if making a halo.
  • n. The blurring of light around a bright area of a photographic image, or on a television screen.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An appearance as of a halo of light, surrounding the edges of dark objects in a photographic picture.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In photography, the effect of excess of light, or of adventitious reflected light, on some part of a negative, as when an interior view includes a window the light-rays from which produce a fog which spreads over the neighboring parts of the picture, or when light is reflected from the back of the plate.


hal(o) + -ation.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From halo +‎ -ation. (Wiktionary)


  • "halation" of star photographs can be prevented by pouring over the back of the plate a film of collodion suitably stained.

    On Laboratory Arts

  • My favorite is the strokes of halation as the sun peeks over the top.


  • Age tends to diminish night vision, especially the ability to distinguish contrast, and older drivers are vulnerable to what engineers call "overglow" or "halation," when letters lighted by headlights blur together.

    January 2005

  • For a moment the entire iron car was outlined in an eerie violet halation as the paint boiled up on the vehicle's surface, and all four tires melted.

    Music to My Sorrow

  • The inside of the shade creates an elliptical shape and the strong white area in the top central portion is the light bulb which also gives off a halation creating the ‘bump’ on the top of this reflection.

    Space Ships of the Visitors

  • The first advantage, which I soon discovered, is their entire freedom from halation.

    Scientific American Supplement, No. 623, December 10, 1887

  • This, with glass plates, is inseparable, and even when much labor has been bestowed on backing them, the halation is painfully apparent.

    Scientific American Supplement, No. 623, December 10, 1887

  • To avoid halation use portrait film, take the view where there are no glaring lights, and develop with Azol.

    Pictorial Photography in America 1921

  • Chinese yellow is used largely in studios in place of white in make-up because it does not cause halation, which, to the picture people, is the bane of their existence.

    The Film Mystery

  • Since the linen worn before the camera is dyed a faint tint to prevent the halation caused by pure white, it was a sure sign to me that he had spruced up a bit.

    The Film Mystery


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  • We celebrate each year's rotation
    With merriment and strong potation.
    With liquor abetting
    Both hope and forgettting
    The world glows bright in brief halation.

    January 2, 2015

  • ha·la·tion (h-lshn)
    1. A blurring or spreading of light around bright areas on a photographic image.
    2. A glow around a bright object on a television screen.

    May 21, 2009

  • This also applies to type; the term is used to describe the problem with text on highway signs at night being blurred by light striking it. This is why the current, ubiquitous "Highway Gothic" typeface on road signs in the US is being replaced with the more legible and less halation-prone "Clearview."

    July 15, 2008

  • I am a creature of the night.

    May 12, 2008

  • Boundaries according to who? Is there some prescribed darkness zone of which I should be aware?

    May 12, 2008

  • A spreading of light beyond its proper boundaries.

    May 12, 2008