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verb (used without object), phos·pho·resced, phos·pho·resc·ing.
  1. to be luminous without sensible heat, as phosphorus.
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Origin of phosphoresce

First recorded in 1785–95; phosphor(us) + -esce
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for phosphoresce

Historical Examples

  • Some substances also, which fluoresce at ordinary temperatures, will phosphoresce at low temperatures.

    The Nature of Animal Light

    E. Newton Harvey

  • Its dead color brightens considerably under the molecular impact, but I am now convinced it does not phosphoresce.

  • There is, however, another possible way how a conductor might at least appear to phosphoresce.

  • I took a screen made of zincblende, which will phosphoresce when the emanations of radium fall upon it.

    The Life Radiant

    Lilian Whiting

  • But from numerous experiments I find that bodies will phosphoresce in actual contact with the negative pole.

British Dictionary definitions for phosphoresce


  1. (intr) to exhibit phosphorescence
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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