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[in-kuh n-des-uh ns] /ˌɪn kənˈdɛs əns/
the emission of visible light by a body, caused by its high temperature.
Compare luminescence.
the light produced by such an emission.
the quality of being incandescent.
Origin of incandescence
First recorded in 1650-60; incandesc(ent) + -ence
Related forms
nonincandescence, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for incandescence
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Only the incandescence of the metal and the flame itself were visible.

    The Black Star Passes John W Campbell
  • The garden where Nedda definitely was not present became bathed in incandescence.

    The Pirates of Ersatz Murray Leinster
  • It is true of all metals which are capable of being heated to incandescence.

  • Did ever passion heat words to incandescence as it did those of Sappho?

    Over the Teacups Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
  • The light of incandescence is intense and white like that from metal at a white heat.

    English Synonyms and Antonyms James Champlin Fernald
  • Ashes and pumice heated to incandescence were blown through the air.

    The Lani People J. F. Bone
  • Her arms were outstretched to the dimming form of Harry and the incandescence.

    The Blind Spot Austin Hall
  • A flash of light, a thread of incandescence, a quiver—and they were gone.

    The Blind Spot Austin Hall
  • I could see the outlines of his figure and a weird, single string of incandescence.

    The Blind Spot Austin Hall
British Dictionary definitions for incandescence


the emission of light by a body as a consequence of raising its temperature Compare luminescence
the light produced by raising the temperature of a body
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 incandescence

1650s, figurative, "state of being 'inflamed,'" from incandescent + -ence. Literal use from 1794.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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incandescence in Science
The emission of visible light from a substance or object as a result of heating it to a high temperature. The color of the light emitted from solids and liquids is a function of their chemical structure and their temperature; the higher the temperature, the more intense and even the distribution of frequencies is (that is, higher temperatures create brighter and whiter light than lower temperatures). Compare fluorescence. See also blackbody radiation.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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