Definitions

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

  • adj. Transmitting light but causing sufficient diffusion to prevent perception of distinct images.
  • adj. Clear; lucid.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Allowing light to pass through, but diffusing it.
  • adj. Clear, lucid, or transparent.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Transmitting rays of light without permitting objects to be distinctly seen; partially transparent.
  • adj. Transparent; clear.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Transmitting rays of light, withont being transparent, as alabaster.
  • Transparent; clear.

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

  • adj. allowing light to pass through diffusely

Etymologies

Latin trānslūcēns, trānslūcent-, present participle of trānslūcēre, to shine through : trāns-, trans- + lūcēre, to shine; see leuk- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin translucentem, accusative of translucens which is present participle of translucere, trans- "through" and lucere "to shine". (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • "At last it was dark in the apartment; I stumbled against the furniture in the hall, but in the door that opened on to the staircase, in the midst of the darkness I had thought to be complete, the glazed panel was translucent and blue, with the blueness of a flower, the blueness of an insect's wing, a blueness that would have seemed to me beautiful had I not felt it to be a last glint, sharp as a steel blade, a final blow that was being dealt me, in its indefatigable cruelty, by the day."
    --The Captive & The Fugitive by Marcel Proust, translated by C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin, revised by D.J. Enright, p 649 of the Modern Library paperback edition

    February 15, 2010

  • "From his smile, a tribute to the defunct salon which he saw with his mind's eye, I understood that what Brichot, perhaps without realising it, preferred in the old drawing-room, more than the large windows, more than the gay youth of his hosts and their faithful, was that unreal aspect (which I myself could discern from certain similarities between La Raspelière and the Quai Conti) of which, in a drawing-room as in everything else, the actual, external aspect, verifiable by everyone, is but the prolongation, the aspect which has detached itself from the outer world to take refuge in our soul, to which it gives as it were a surplus-value, in which it is absorbed into its habitual substance, transforming itself—houses that have been pulled down, people long dead, bowls of fruit at suppers which we recall—into that translucent alabaster of our memories of which we are incapable of conveying the colour which we alone can see, so that we can truthfully say to other people, when speaking of the past, that they can have no conception of them, that they are unlike anything they have seen, and that we ourselves cannot inwardly contemplate without a certain emotion, reflecting that it is on the existence of our thoughts that their survival for a little longer depends, the gleam of lamps that have been extinguished and the fragrance of arbours that will never bloom again."
    --The Captive & The Fugitive by Marcel Proust, translated by C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin, revised by D.J. Enright, p 379 of the Modern Library paperback edition

    January 20, 2010

  • "Surrounding both myself and Albertine there had been this morning (far more than the sunny day) that environment which itself is invisible but through the translucent and changing medium of which we saw, I her actions, she the importance of her own life—that is to say those beliefs which we do not perceive but which are no more assimilable to a pure vacuum than is the air that surrounds us; composing round about us a variable atmosphere, sometimes excellent, often unbreathable, they deserve to be studied and recorded as carefully as the temperature, the barometric pressure, the season, for our days have their own singularity, physical and moral."
    --The Captive & The Fugitive by Marcel Proust, translated by C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin, revised by D.J. Enright, p 191 of the Modern Library paperback edition

    January 8, 2010

  • "Then her sleep would seem to me a marvellous and magic world in which at certain moments there rises from the depths of the barely translucent element the avowal of a secret which we shall not understand."
    --The Captive & The Fugitive by Marcel Proust, translated by C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin, revised by D.J. Enright, p 144 of the Modern Library paperback edition

    January 7, 2010

  • "If I had sought to reproduce in a piece of writing the material in which my most insignificant memories of Rivebelle appeared to me to be carved, I should have had to vein with pink, to render at once translucent, compact, cool and resonant, a substance hitherto analogous to the sombre, rugged sandstone of Combray."
    --The Guermantes Way by Marcel Proust, translated by C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin, Revised by D.J. Enright, p 545 of the Modern Library paperback edition

    September 2, 2008