Definitions

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

  • adjective Producing a display of lustrous, rainbowlike colors.
  • adjective Brilliant, lustrous, or colorful in effect or appearance.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Exhibiting or giving out colors like those of the rainbow; gleaming or shimmering with rainbow colors; more generally, glittering with different colors which change according to the light in which they are viewed, without reference to what the colors are; lustrously versicolor; of changeable metallic sheen, as certain birds, insects, minerals, glass, fabrics, etc.

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

  • adjective Having colors like the rainbow; exhibiting a play of changeable colors; nacreous; prismatic. See iridescence.

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

  • adjective not comparable Producing a display of lustrous, rainbow-like colors; prismatic.
  • adjective Brilliant, lustrous, or colorful.

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

  • adjective varying in color when seen in different lights or from different angles
  • adjective having a play of lustrous rainbow colors

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Coined around 1800, from Latin iris ("rainbow") + -escent.

Examples

  • Also called iridescent shark catfish, Pangasius thrives in Vietnam's Mekong River.

    MindaNews Feeds

  • In denominations of 50, 100, 200 and 500 pesos, they look similar to existing bills but incorporate additional security measures such as iridescent bands and optically variable ink which appears to change color, depending on the angle from which it is viewed.

    Lloyd Mexico Economic Report - November 2001

  • In denominations of 50, 100, 200 and 500 pesos, they look similar to existing bills but incorporate additional security measures such as iridescent bands and optically variable ink which appears to change color, depending on the angle from which it is viewed.

    Lloyd Mexico Economic Report - November 2001

  • September 24, 2009 at 4:39 pm sorry…i forgot to respond the first time…it’s called the iridescent butterfly top, and will be available in november only via wholesale…so you can visit your local boutique that carries fp, or nordstrom, or bloomingdales!

    tgif | Free People Clothing Boutique Blog

  • September 24, 2009 at 4:39 pm sorry…i forgot to respond the first time…it’s called the iridescent butterfly top, and will be available in november only via wholesale…so you can visit your local boutique that carries fp, or nordstrom, or bloomingdales!

    tgif | Free People Clothing Boutique Blog

  • The word "iridescent" for "having or showing shifting changes in color or an interplay of rainbowlike colors" comes from this root.

    Rockford Register Star Home RSS

  • A few French words are thrown in as well as harder words such as iridescent, azure, automatic, and glamorous.

    Epinions Recent Content for Home

  • A few French words are thrown in as well as harder words such as iridescent, azure, automatic, and glamorous.

    Epinions Recent Content for Home

  • A few French words are thrown in as well as harder words such as iridescent, azure, automatic, and glamorous.

    Epinions Recent Content for Home

  • A few French words are thrown in as well as harder words such as iridescent, azure, automatic, and glamorous.

    Epinions Recent Content for Home

Comments

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  • "The blinds were closed almost everywhere round the studio, which was fairly cool and, except in one place where daylight laid against the wall its brilliant but fleeting decoration, dark; one small rectangular window alone was open, embowered in honeysuckle and giving onto an avenue beyond a strip of garden; so that the atmosphere of the greater part of the studio was dusky, transparent and compact in its mass, but liquid and sparkling at the edges where the sunlight encased it, like a lump of rock crystal of which one surface, already cut and polished, gleams here and there like a mirror with iridescent rays."

    -- Within a Budding Grove by Marcel Proust, translated by C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin, Revised by D.J. Enright, p 565 of the Modern Library paperback edition

    May 7, 2008

  • This word is sometimes misspelled with a double 'r'

    June 5, 2009