Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. the state of being opalescent
  • n. the milky iridescent appearance of a dense transparent medium when it is illuminated by polychromatic visible radiation (such as sunlight) due to local fluctuations in its density and therefore in its refractive index

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A reflection of a milky or pearly light from the interior of a mineral, as in the moonstone; the state or quality of being opalescent.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The quality of being opalescent; iridescence like that of the opal; a play of colors milky rather than brilliant; the property of exhibiting such a play of color.

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

  • n. the visual property of something having a milky brightness and a play of colors from the surface

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • The ultra-microscopical vesicles filled with air in all probability give rise to the opalescence which is so marked a property of the substance.

    Scientific American Supplement, No. 595, May 28, 1887

  • Heat clothed this view with a kind of opalescence, a fairy garment, transmuting all values, so that the four square walls and tall chimneys of the pottery-works a few miles down the valley seemed to Courtier like a vision of some old fortified Italian town.

    Complete Project Gutenberg John Galsworthy Works

  • Heat clothed this view with a kind of opalescence, a fairy garment, transmuting all values, so that the four square walls and tall chimneys of the pottery-works a few miles down the valley seemed to Courtier like a vision of some old fortified

    The Patrician

  • "opalescence" is self-suggesting as to its origin, which is the "noble" or "precious" opal; this radiates brilliant and rapidly changing iridescent reflections of blue, green, yellow and red, all blending with, and coming out of, a curious silky and milky whiteness, which is altogether characteristic.

    The Chemistry, Properties and Tests of Precious Stones

  • They passed down through the scintillant, magical sheen, their moccasins rhythmically crunching the snow and their breaths wreathing mysteriously from their lips in sprayed opalescence.

    CHAPTER 14

  • Rather than wasting the malevolent opalescence, I suggest we exhaust current inventories by bathing in it like 30s starlets.

    Will Durst: Don't Got Milk

  • I stroked them, their cool, smooth opalescence soothing me, as it always had for as far back as I could remember.

    The Dark Side of Innocence

  • Interestingly, both of these are considerably paler in color than typical French and Swiss absinthes but they do produce the well known "louche" or milky colored opalescence when water is added.

    Boing Boing

  • The sky lifted and shone with a blue and pink opalescence, and the long view cleared enough to feel closer to it.

    Country diary: Wenlock Edge

  • As I walk, I notice places where even footprints aren't required to see a blue/pink opalescence on the surface.

    Jeanne Devon ("AKMuckraker"): A Beach Walk With the Ghosts of Exxon Valdez

Comments

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  • From the OED:

    (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
    The wind
    Of green blooms turning crisped the motley hue
    To clearing opalescence.


    June 29, 2007