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[in-kuh n-des-uh nt] /ˌɪn kənˈdɛs ənt/
(of light) produced by incandescence.
glowing or white with heat.
intensely bright; brilliant.
brilliant; masterly; extraordinarily lucid:
an incandescent masterpiece; incandescent wit.
aglow with ardor, purpose, etc.:
the incandescent vitality of youth.
Origin of incandescent
1785-95; < Latin incandēscent- (stem of incandēscēns), present participle of incandēscere to glow. See in-2, candescent
Related forms
incandescently, adverb
nonincandescent, adjective
nonincandescently, adverb
5. electrifying, brilliant, dynamic. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for incandescent
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I was then taken to visit his incandescent ovens and his vats in a state of ebullition.

    My Double Life Sarah Bernhardt
  • Their boat seemed to be sailing on the bosom of an incandescent stream.

    The Downfall Emile Zola
  • Then leaf by leaf it dropped its petals until only an incandescent core was left.

    Melomaniacs James Huneker
  • When anything becomes hot enough to glow, we say it is incandescent.

    Common Science Carleton W. Washburne
  • Then heat the top of the bubble till it is incandescent and blow violently.

    On Laboratory Arts Richard Threlfall
British Dictionary definitions for incandescent


emitting light as a result of being heated to a high temperature; red-hot or white-hot
(informal) extremely angry; raging
Derived Forms
incandescently, adverb
Word Origin
C18: from Latin incandescere to become hot, glow, from in-² + candescere to grow bright, from candēre to be white; see candid
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 incandescent

1794, from French incandescent or directly from Latin incandescentem (nominative incandescens), present participle of incandescere "become warm, glow, kindle," from in- "within" (see in- (2)) + candescere "begin to glow, become white," inceptive of candere "to glow, to shine" (see candle).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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