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[trans-loo-suh nt, tranz-] /trænsˈlu sənt, trænz-/
permitting light to pass through but diffusing it so that persons, objects, etc., on the opposite side are not clearly visible:
Frosted window glass is translucent but not transparent.
easily understandable; lucid:
a translucent explication.
clear; transparent:
translucent seawater.
Origin of translucent
1590-1600; < Latin trānslūcent- (stem of trānslūcēns), present participle of trānslūcere to shine through. See trans-, lucent
Related forms
translucence, translucency, noun
translucently, adverb
subtranslucence, noun
subtranslucency, noun
subtranslucent, adjective
Can be confused
translucent, transparent (see synonym study at transparent)
1. See transparent.
1. opaque. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for translucently
Historical Examples
  • But to the north-west an edge of it was translucently green.

    The Created Legend Feodor Sologub
  • Is not the duty of the girls who are a little older or who have been away to school or college perfectly, translucently clear?

    The American Country Girl Martha Foote Crow
  • So translucently white was it, that when he dropped it into a glass of water he had difficulty in finding it.

    South Sea Tales Jack London
British Dictionary definitions for translucently


allowing light to pass through partially or diffusely; semitransparent
Derived Forms
translucence, translucency, noun
translucently, adverb
Word Origin
C16: from Latin translūcēre to shine through, from trans- + lūcēre to shine
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 translucently



1590s, from Latin translucentem (nominative translucens), present participle of translucere "to shine through," from trans- "through" (see trans-) + lucere "to shine" (see light (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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translucently in Science
Allowing radiation (most commonly light) to pass through, but causing diffusion. Frosted glass, for example, is translucent to visible light. Compare transparent.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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