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[in-kuh n-des-uh nt] /ˌɪn kənˈdɛs ənt/
(of light) produced by incandescence.
glowing or white with heat.
intensely bright; brilliant.
brilliant; masterly; extraordinarily lucid:
an incandescent masterpiece; incandescent wit.
aglow with ardor, purpose, etc.:
the incandescent vitality of youth.
Origin of incandescent
1785-95; < Latin incandēscent- (stem of incandēscēns), present participle of incandēscere to glow. See in-2, candescent
Related forms
incandescently, adverb
nonincandescent, adjective
nonincandescently, adverb
5. electrifying, brilliant, dynamic. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for incandescent
  • Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs, which provide the same amount of light while using less energy.
  • It's been more than a century since he lit incandescent bulbs wirelessly in his lab, and yet you're still plugging into the wall.
  • The volcano itself is throwing incandescent bombs near the vent along with producing copious ash.
  • To the outside world he was a jovial, talkative and incandescent personality who illuminated a room and fired imaginations.
  • Compact fluorescent lights are four times as efficient as today's incandescent bulbs and last ten to twenty times as long.
  • While incandescent remains the standard for table lamps, consumers have more choices today.
  • Over the course of her incandescent literary and political career, she also became a symbol of views she did not hold.
  • The music evokes the gamelan, or incandescent undersea creatures suddenly shadowed by a big fish.
  • incandescent bulbs hanging from the dropped ceiling provided the only light.
  • In his generation, he was used to incandescent flashing beacons.
British Dictionary definitions for incandescent


emitting light as a result of being heated to a high temperature; red-hot or white-hot
(informal) extremely angry; raging
Derived Forms
incandescently, adverb
Word Origin
C18: from Latin incandescere to become hot, glow, from in-² + candescere to grow bright, from candēre to be white; see candid
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 incandescent

1794, from French incandescent or directly from Latin incandescentem (nominative incandescens), present participle of incandescere "become warm, glow, kindle," from in- "within" (see in- (2)) + candescere "begin to glow, become white," inceptive of candere "to glow, to shine" (see candle).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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