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[in-kuh n-des-uh ns] /ˌɪn kənˈdɛs əns/
the emission of visible light by a body, caused by its high temperature.
Compare luminescence.
the light produced by such an emission.
the quality of being incandescent.
Origin of incandescence
1650-60; incandesc(ent) + -ence
Related forms
nonincandescence, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for incandescence
  • But the flashy neon seems pale amid the deep incandescence of this red giant of a book.
  • The menace is there, an incandescence that could erupt at any moment into flames.
  • Lithium silicide attacks tellurium with incandescence.
  • The blue in the flame of a match or a candle is not a result of incandescence, but of luminescence.
  • The crater occupies the area in which incandescence had been observed during the previous week.
  • More incandescence in this wide flow occurs left of image.
British Dictionary definitions for incandescence


the emission of light by a body as a consequence of raising its temperature Compare luminescence
the light produced by raising the temperature of a body
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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Word Origin and History for incandescence

1650s, figurative, "state of being 'inflamed,'" from incandescent + -ence. Literal use from 1794.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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incandescence in Science
The emission of visible light from a substance or object as a result of heating it to a high temperature. The color of the light emitted from solids and liquids is a function of their chemical structure and their temperature; the higher the temperature, the more intense and even the distribution of frequencies is (that is, higher temperatures create brighter and whiter light than lower temperatures). Compare fluorescence. See also blackbody radiation.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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