Definitions

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

  • adjective Impenetrable by light; neither transparent nor translucent.
  • adjective Not reflecting light; having no luster.
  • adjective Impenetrable by a form of radiant energy other than visible light.
  • adjective So obscure as to be unintelligible.
  • adjective Mentally obtuse; dense.
  • noun Something that is opaque, especially an opaque pigment used to darken parts of a photographic print or negative.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Something opaque; specifically, a shade which can be worn over the forehead to protect the eyes from brilliant light.
  • Shady; dark; hence, obscure.
  • Impervious to the rays of light; not transparent.
  • In entomology, having no luster: said of surfaces or colors.
  • In botany, mostly used in the sense of ‘not shining,’ or ‘dull.’
  • A similar ware made at Spode, introduced in 1805. Also called feldspar porcelain and ironstone china.
  • noun Opacity.
  • To render opaque.

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

  • adjective Impervious to the rays of light; not transparent.
  • adjective colloq. Obscure; not clear; unintelligible.
  • noun That which is opaque; opacity.

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

  • adjective Neither reflecting nor emitting light.
  • adjective Allowing little light to pass through, not translucent or transparent.
  • adjective figuratively Unclear, unintelligible, hard to get or explain the meaning of
  • adjective figuratively Obtuse, stupid.
  • adjective computing Describes a type for which higher-level callers have no knowledge of data values or their representations; all operations are carried out by the type's defined abstract operators.
  • noun obsolete, poetic An area of darkness; a place or region with no light.
  • noun Something which is opaque rather than translucent.
  • verb transitive To make, render (more) opaque.

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

  • adjective not clearly understood or expressed
  • adjective not transmitting or reflecting light or radiant energy; impenetrable to sight

Etymologies

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

[Middle English opake, shady, and French opaque, opaque (from Old French, shady), both from Latin opācus.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English opake, from Latin opacus ("shaded, shady, dark") (of unknown origin), later reinforced from Middle French opaque.

Examples

  • And now my chains are to be broken; I shall mount above these clouds and opaque airs in which I live, —opaque, though they seem transparent, —and from the heaven of truth I shall see and comprehend my relations.

    X. Essays. The Poet. 1844

  • That was the agreed signal, a word opaque enough to confuse anyone trying to listen in.

    The Edge of Madness

  • Pensions & Investment Research Consultants Ltd., or Pirc, recommends voting against the remuneration report, because of what it calls "opaque" disclosure and "overly complex" structure of executives' packages.

    Barclays CEO Faces Pay Backlash

  • Paul vowed in an interview with The Hill last month that as chairman he would shine a light on the Fed's policies, which he called opaque and destructive.

    HUFFPOST HILL - Senate FAIL

  • They have told us that our atmosphere is what they call opaque, so that the stars are not visible, and then they were surprised that we know stars, that we know their music and the movements of their dance far better than beings like you who spend hours studying them through what you call telescopes.

    A Wrinkle in Time

  • They have told us that our atmosphere is what they call opaque, so that the stars are not visible, and then they were surprised that we know stars, that we know their music and the movements of their dance far better than beings like you who spend hours studying them through what you call telescopes.

    A Wrinkle in Time

  • The value of such a discovery was obvious from the first; and was still further enhanced by the discovery made shortly that, photographic plates are affected by the rays, thus making it possible to make permanent photographic records of pictures through what we know as opaque substances.

    A History of Science: in Five Volumes. Volume III: Modern development of the physical sciences

  • To get there, Artprice limited its scope to fine-art sales at public auctions, filtering out results from what they refer to as the "opaque" gallery market.

    Forbes.com: News

  • To get there, Artprice limited its scope to fine-art sales at public auctions, filtering out results from what they refer to as the "opaque" gallery market.

    Forbes.com: News

  • Paul vowed in an interview with The Hill last month that as chairman he would shine a light on the Fed's policies, which he called opaque and destructive.

    The Full Feed from HuffingtonPost.com

Comments

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  • "The book is constructed of sequentially numbered sheets of paper (recyclable), each capable of holding thousands of bits of information. The pages are locked together with a custom-fit device called a binder which keeps the sheets in their correct sequence. Opaque Paper Technology (OPT) allows manufacturers to use both sides of the sheet, doubling the information density and cutting costs. Experts are divided on the prospects for further increases in information density."

    - The Book.

    November 1, 2009

  • Jesus is an image of God so utterly transparent as to remain opaque except to the eyes of faith.(online dictionary)

    September 23, 2010

  • Caring for your baby and young child author steven p. shelov and Tanya Remer Altmann page5

    November 2, 2010

  • adjective: not clearly understood or expressed

    The meaning of the professor's new research was opaque to most people, so no one asked any questions.

    October 19, 2016