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

  • adjective Flickering lightly.
  • adjective Having a gentle glow; luminous: synonym: bright.
  • adjective Light or brilliant.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Licking.
  • Hence Running along or over a surface, as if in the act of licking; flowing over or along; lapping or bathing; softly bright; gleaming.

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

  • adjective Playing on the surface; touching lightly; gliding over.
  • adjective Twinkling or gleaming; fickering.

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

  • adjective Brushing or flickering gently over a surface.
  • adjective Glowing or luminous, but lacking heat.
  • adjective Exhibiting lightness or brilliance of wit; clever or witty without unkindness.

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

  • adjective softly bright or radiant


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

[Latin lambēns, lambent-, present participle of lambere, to lick.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin lambens, present participle of lambō ("lick").


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  • young sheep with same-sex proclivities

    November 2, 2007

  • Foaled of the white sea-horses,

    Washed in the lambent waters of the sun.

    (francis thompson, from the night of forebeing)

    April 28, 2008

  • But Princess Nathalie, the cat, was uneasy. Annixter was occupying her own particular chair in which she slept every night. She could not go to sleep, but spied upon him continually, watching his every movement with her lambent, yellow eyes, clear as amber.

    - Frank Norris, The Octopus, ch. 3

    August 9, 2008

  • "About a week after 9/11, notebook in hand, I went to a screening of 'Serendipity,' a romance set in a lambent New York, starring John Cusack, Kate Beckinsale and tertiary players from 'Sex and the City.'"

    The New York Times, Reflections on That Dreadful Tuesday, by Ed Park, September 6, 2008

    September 8, 2008

  • Always has been one of my favorite words. It sounds and looks like what it means.

    April 21, 2012

  • Her flesh is lambent against the black of her dress. James Salter in"A Sport and a Past Time"

    February 12, 2013

  • The sun's is a harsh and literal light,

    But seen by the lamps of the night

    The world circumambient

    Is suggestively lambent, 

    As shadows shape the inward sight.

    August 2, 2014