[af-ter-gloh, ahf-]
the glow frequently seen in the sky after sunset; afterlight.
a second or secondary glow, as in heated metal before it ceases to become incandescent.
the pleasant remembrance of a past experience, glory, etc.: She basked in the afterglow of her stage triumph.
phosphorescence ( def 3 ).

1870–75; after + glow Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
afterglow (ˈɑːftəˌɡləʊ)
1.  the glow left after a light has disappeared, such as that sometimes seen after sunset
2.  the glow of an incandescent metal after the source of heat has been removed
3.  physics luminescence persisting on the screen of a cathode-ray tube or in a gas-discharge tube after the power supply has been disconnected
4.  a trace, impression, etc, of past emotion, brilliance, etc

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1873, from after + glow.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Once the gamma rays fade, there's usually an afterglow in other wavelengths of light that can last for weeks or months.
They had found the cool afterglow of the big bang: the cosmic microwave background radiation.
The afterglow can persist for hours, days, or even weeks.
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