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

  • noun The emission of visible light by a hot object.
  • noun The light emitted by an incandescent object.
  • noun A high degree of emotion, intensity, or brilliance.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The condition of being incandescent; glowing heat. Rarely candescence.

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

  • noun A white heat, or the glowing or luminous whiteness of a body caused by intense heat.

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

  • noun physics the emission of visible light by a hot body
  • noun the light so emitted
  • noun by extension great emotion, especially anger

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

  • noun the phenomenon of light emission by a body as its temperature is raised
  • noun light from heat


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • If the column of metal intended for hydrogenation of the products of incandescence is raised to a temperature of more than 300°C, then a proportion of the aromatic hydrocarbons is retained and the liquid obtained is analogous to Galician petroleum.

    Paul Sabatier - Nobel Lecture 1966

  • The great current density in the coiled-coil filament with much heat development results in bright incandescence, that is to say in the generation of visible light.

    5. Light Sources for Illuminating Purposes Frank Ponemunski 1991

  • -- When referring to methods of obtaining artificial light by means of processes involving combustion or oxidation, the term "incandescence" is usually limited to those forms of burner in which some extraneous substance, such as a "mantle," is raised to a brilliant white heat.

    Acetylene, the Principles of Its Generation and Use W. J. Atkinson Butterfield

  • We should be heating it to 33 in Newtonian degrees - which is the sacred number for the boiling point of water - and through a process known as incandescence we should be able to read a top secret inscription that has been cunningly hidden on the surface. "

    Books news, reviews and author interviews | 2009

  • He incorporated the old shoe in the picture as a gesture toward Van Gogh; he had the sense that his eye was bringing all the world's psychosis to everything on which it fell; the objects in the painting seem lit by a savage incandescence, the light comes from the direction of the artist.

    Joan Miró: A life in paintings 2011

  • And Mulligan Jacobs's face thrust another inch closer on its twisted neck, while all his concentrated rage seemed on the verge of bursting into incandescence.

    CHAPTER XIV 2010

  • Influenced by the French Barbizon School and later by the Impressionist movement, the artists captured the particular conditions of Skagen, where water on three sides creates a special incandescence.

    Pilgrimage to the Tip of Denmark J. S. Marcus 2011

  • Thomas Edison invented the phonograph, practical incandescence, and many other improved devices.

    To Be An American: Part Two - The Scientists | Heretical Ideas Magazine 2009

  • Those who aren't addicts or don't use the site at all — I'd call myself a cautious user — may be tempted to see Facebook as a not-so-hot notion fanned into incandescence by narcissistic adolescents with nothing better to do than tell one another who they are in terms of what they like, what they buy and where they go.

    'Social Network': Password Is Perfection Joe Morgenstern 2010

  • She's played by Adepero Oduye, who gives a performance, first heartbreaking and later thrilling, that swings between the darkness of spiritual isolation and the incandescence of self-discovery, with quiet interludes of affecting earnestness.

    'Pariah' Stands Apart—As Fresh Teen Tale Joe Morgenstern 2012


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  • incandescence is refulgent

    August 13, 2007

  • "But now the guests for the reception were beginning to arrive and the lady of the house was seated not far from the door—erect and proud in her quasi-regal majesty, her eyes ablaze with their own incandescence—between two unattractive highnesses and the Spanish Ambassadress."

    --Sodom and Gomorrah by Marcel Proust, translated by C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin, revised by D.J. Enright, p 48 of the Modern Library paperback edition

    February 2, 2009