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[oh-pas-i-tee] /oʊˈpæs ɪ ti/
noun, plural opacities.
the state or quality of being opaque.
something opaque.
the degree to which a substance is opaque; capacity for being opaque.
Photography. the proportion of the light that is absorbed by the emulsion on any given area of a film or plate.
obscurity of meaning.
mental dullness.
Medicine/Medical. an opaque spot or area in normally clear or transparent tissue, as a cataract of the eye.
Origin of opacity
1550-60; < Latin opācitās shade. See opaque, -ity
Related forms
nonopacity, noun, plural nonopacities. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for opacity
  • opacity was understood as the ally of corruption, transparency the enemy.
  • Not long ago the cheerleaders of opacity were the loudest.
  • Medical care is often priced with the same maddening, arbitrary opacity as airline seats and hotel rooms.
  • But the opacity of the language should not obscure the momentum behind a policy more simply described as giving power away.
  • For pop stars in decent health, a little opacity is a pension plan.
  • Not the television commentators, who were discussing it with acrobatic opacity.
  • Despite more public reporting, levels of opacity on such lending remain high.
  • But that same opacity doesn't translate well to corporate governance.
  • opacity is out of fashion, and the sooner the powers-that-be realize it, the better it is.
  • The skidding pace of these poems, their opacity and awesome self-indulgence, are part of his program.
British Dictionary definitions for opacity


noun (pl) -ties
the state or quality of being opaque
the degree to which something is opaque
an opaque object or substance
obscurity of meaning; unintelligibility
(physics, photog) the ratio of the intensity of light incident on a medium, such as a photographic film, to that transmitted through the medium
(logic, philosophy) the property of being an opaque context
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 opacity

1550s, "darkness of meaning, obscurity," from French opacité, from Latin opacitatem (nominative opacitas) "shade, shadiness," from opacus "shaded, dark, opaque" (see opaque). The literal sense "condition of being impervious to light" first recorded 1630s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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opacity in Medicine

opacity o·pac·i·ty (ō-pās'ĭ-tē)

  1. The quality or state of being opaque.

  2. An opaque or nontransparent area, as of the cornea.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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