the production of light by living organisms.

1915–20; bio- + luminescence

bioluminescent, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
bioluminescence (ˌbaɪəʊˌluːmɪˈnɛsəns)
the production of light by living organisms as a result of the oxidation of a light-producing substance (luciferin) by the enzyme luciferase: occurs in many marine organisms, insects such as the firefly, etc

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

from bio- + luminescence. Bioluminescent (adj.) is from 1929.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
bioluminescence   (bī'ō-l'mə-něs'əns)  Pronunciation Key 
The emission of light by living organisms, such as fireflies, glowworms, and certain fish, jellyfish, plankton, fungi, and bacteria. It occurs when a pigment (usually luciferin) is oxidized without giving off heat. Although it is believed that bioluminescence is involved in animal communication, its function in many organisms has yet to be understood. Bioluminescence is a form of chemiluminescence. Compare chemiluminescence.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Our future may hold safe bioluminescent beer and champagne.
The lagoon is one of only five bioluminescent bays in the world.
Most of these species have bioluminescent organs on their sides called
Instead the fish is on the lookout for flickers of bioluminescent light
  produced by prey or predators.
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