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[kem-uh-loo-muh-nes-uh ns] /ˌkɛm əˌlu məˈnɛs əns/
(in chemical reactions) the emission of light by an atom or molecule that is in an excited state.
Origin of chemiluminescence
1900-05; chemi- + luminescence
Related forms
chemiluminescent, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for chemiluminescence
Historical Examples
  • Moreover, as we have seen, chemiluminescence is essentially an oxyluminescence, since oxygen is necessary for the reaction.

    The Nature of Animal Light E. Newton Harvey
British Dictionary definitions for chemiluminescence


the phenomenon in which a chemical reaction leads to the emission of light without incandescence
Derived Forms
chemiluminescent, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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chemiluminescence in Science
The emission of light by a substance as a result of undergoing a chemical reaction that does not involve an increase in its temperature. Chemiluminescence usually occurs when a highly oxidized molecule, such as a peroxide, reacts with another molecule. The bond between the two oxygen atoms in a peroxide is relatively weak, and when it breaks the atoms must reorganize themselves, releasing energy in the form of light. Compare bioluminescence.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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