- exhibiting a play of colors like that of the opal.
- having a milky iridescence.
Origin of opalescent
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for opalescence
This "play of colour" and "opalescence," must not be confused with "change of colour."
The dormant bodies of the great slugs glowed perceptibly brighter as they fed, and the pulsations of opalescence quickened.The Cavern of the Shining Ones
Hal K. Wells
The alkaline bicarbonates either do not disturb the solution, or only cause a slight degree of opalescence.Cooley's Practical Receipts, Volume II
The opalescence above referred to principally affects the manubrium, tentacles, and margin of the nectocalyx.
The opalescence, so painful to the eyes, had given place to a clear atmosphere; and the low sun was full of rich coloring.Adrift in the Arctic Ice Pack
Elisha Kent Kane
- having or emitting an iridescence like that of an opal
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
Word Origin and History for opalescence
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- Resembling an opal in the display of various colors, often used to describe certain bacterial cultures.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
- Exhibiting a milky iridescence like that of opal.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.