Definition of incandescent in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌinkənˈdes(ə)nt/


1Emitting light as a result of being heated: plumes of incandescent liquid rock
More example sentences
  • He was thinking about the spectrum of hydrogen, that is to say the set of separated coloured lines that are found when light from the incandescent gas is split up by being passed through a prism.
  • He stared into that liquid, incandescent heart, and then flinched, despite all he could do, as a huge, fan-shaped billow of flame and sparks erupted from another vast piece of machinery.
  • And the rising sun met the falling star and flashed into coruscant life, a roaring tide of fiery might that batted away cold beams and sent an incandescent lance of godly light in retaliation.
white-hot, red-hot, burning, fiery, blazing, ablaze, aflame;
glowing, aglow, radiant, bright, brilliant, luminous, sparkling
literary fervid, lucent
rare igneous
1.1(Of an electric light) containing a filament that glows white-hot when heated by a current passed through it.
Example sentences
  • These use about 75% less energy than incandescent lamps, and emit 90% less heat for the same amount of light.
  • At only 23 watts, the bulb emits as much illumination as a 100-watt incandescent bulb, making it energy efficient as it neutralizes smoke and odors.
  • In addition, the inconsistent mix of fluorescent and incandescent light sources throughout the hospital required continuous and costly maintenance.
2Passionate or brilliant: Mravinsky’s incandescent performance of Siegfried’s Funeral March
More example sentences
  • The principals are all effective in their roles, but the key to the film's success is Dorothy Dandridge's incandescent performance as Carmen.
  • This probably is a good time to mention that the performance is incandescent, with inspired and inspirational work coming from everyone involved.
  • Marshall gives an incandescent performance vocally and dramatically as a woman desperately trying to hold on to her sanity in a world gone mad.
passionate, ardent, fervent, fervid, intense, impassioned, spirited, fiery
2.1Extremely angry: she was incandescent at the way the IRS acted
More example sentences
  • ‘Yes, I was angry, even incandescent with rage,’ he said.
  • Dolly was close to incandescent in her outrage, and swore at me in a most unladylike manner.
  • My members are incandescent with rage over the present system, so what replaces it must be right this time. There's no room for any more botch-ups.



Pronunciation: /ˌinkənˈdesns/ Pronunciation: /ˌiNGkənˈdesns/
Example sentences
  • Sconces on the wall brightened, then erupted into searing incandescence that glittered on gold and shining jewels.
  • The glow touched the roses in the front yard, its silvery incandescence casting light into the shadowed bushes.
  • And when he sometimes thinks he has found the right idea, he perceives that a drop of indescribable incandescence has fallen into the world, with a glow that makes the whole earth look different.


Example sentences
  • Her hair was tousled cutely around her face, and the darkness illuminated her eyes incandescently, as if he were staring into the eyes of an angel.
  • The stars were twinkling incandescently in the vast expanse of inky black sky overhead, a sight that we could rarely witness in the city.
  • The darkness of the ink pierced into my eyes like it was incandescently glowing with blackness and burning into my soul.


Late 18th century: from French, from Latin incandescent- 'glowing', from the verb incandescere, from in- (expressing intensive force) + candescere 'become white' (from candidus 'white').

  • This comes via French, from Latin incandescere ‘glow’, based on candidus ‘white’ ( see candidate). The prefix in- here intensifies the meaning. The incense (Middle English) that you burn comes from the related candere ‘to glow’, while the word meaning ‘to inflame with anger’ comes from the related incendere ‘set fire to’ also found in incendiary (Late Middle English).

Words that rhyme with incandescent

acquiescent, adolescent, albescent, Besant, coalescent, confessant, convalescent, crescent, depressant, effervescent, erubescent, evanescent, excrescent, flavescent, fluorescent, immunosuppressant, incessant, iridescent, juvenescent, lactescent, liquescent, luminescent, nigrescent, obsolescent, opalescent, pearlescent, phosphorescent, pubescent, putrescent, quiescent, suppressant, turgescent, virescent, viridescent

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: in·can·des·cent

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