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[ir-i-des-uh nt] /ˌɪr ɪˈdɛs ənt/
displaying a play of lustrous colors like those of the rainbow.
an iridescent cloth, material, or other substance:
new fall dresses of imported iridescents.
Origin of iridescent
1790-1800; irid- + -escent
Related forms
iridescently, adverb
noniridescent, adjective
noniridescently, adverb
uniridescent, adjective
uniridescently, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for iridescent
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • On one of the iridescent clouds we encountered the figure of Moses.

    The Jewish State Theodor Herzl
  • Celerity, valor, endurance, they were his iridescent neck and tail feathers.

    The Cavalier George Washington Cable
  • Sulphuric acid immediately forms a violet red color which disappears as iridescent, feathery crystals are precipitated.

  • Have you noticed the iridescent sparkle when the wind ripples the blades?

  • And next time I hope that Miss Chopin will devote that flexible, iridescent style of hers to a better cause.

British Dictionary definitions for iridescent


displaying a spectrum of colours that shimmer and change due to interference and scattering as the observer's position changes
Derived Forms
iridescence, noun
iridescently, adverb
Word Origin
C18: from irido- + -escent
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 iridescent

1796, literally "rainbow-colored," coined from comb. form of Latin iris (genitive iridis) "rainbow" (see iris). Related: Iridescently.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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