the emission of light not caused by incandescence and occurring at a temperature below that of incandescent bodies.
the light produced by such an emission.

1885–90; < Latin lūmin- (see lumen) + -escence

luminescent, adjective
nonluminescence, noun
nonluminescent, adjective
unluminescent, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
luminescence (ˌluːmɪˈnɛsəns)
 a.  the emission of light at low temperatures by any process other than incandescence, such as phosphorescence or chemiluminescence
 b.  the light emitted by such a process
[C19: from Latin lūmen light]

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

1889, from luminescent.

1889, from L. lumin-, lumen "light" (see luminous).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

luminescence lu·mi·nes·cence (lōō'mə-něs'əns)

  1. The emission of light that does not derive energy from the temperature of the emitting body, as in fluorescence and bioluminescence.

  2. The light so emitted.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
luminescence   (l'mə-něs'əns)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. The emission of light as a result of the excitation of atoms by energy other than heat. Bioluminescence, fluorescence, and phosphorescence are examples of luminescence that can be produced by biological or chemical processes.

  2. The light produced in this way.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Luminescent and fluorescent bulbs might be more virtuous, but they shone more
  dully, and poets loved them less.
And these luminescent particles were released by a comb jelly.
And maybe eyes in the dark depths of the ocean enable creatures to see other
  luminescent creatures.
Your kids can only bob in the water for so long before the chlorine turns their
  hair a luminescent green.
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