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[prom-uh-nuh ns] /ˈprɒm ə nəns/
Also, prominency. the state of being prominent; conspicuousness.
something that is prominent; a projection or protuberance:
a prominence high over a ravine.
Also called solar prominence. Astronomy. an eruption of a flamelike tongue of relatively cool, high-density gas from the solar chromosphere into the corona where it can be seen during a solar eclipse or by observing strong spectral lines in its emission spectrum.
Origin of prominence
First recorded in 1590-1600, prominence is from the Latin word prōminentia a jutting out, protuberance. See prominent, -ence
Related forms
nonprominence, noun
overprominence, noun
2. promontory, height, precipice, peak. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for prominence
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Yet there was a set of the mouth and a prominence of the chin which relieved him of any trace of effeminacy.

    The White Company Arthur Conan Doyle
  • But he was prominent in nothing, for prominence was to him a thing like bodily pain.

    Alarms and Discursions G. K. Chesterton
  • It had become a grimace that creased every wrinkle into prominence.

    The Paliser case Edgar Saltus
  • prominence was given to local endeavor in behalf of the helpless poor.

    Oswald Langdon Carson Jay Lee
  • This was the time when Pandit Sashadhar rose into prominence.

    My Reminiscences Rabindranath Tagore
British Dictionary definitions for prominence


the state or quality of being prominent
something that is prominent, such as a protuberance
relative importance or consequence
(astronomy) an eruption of incandescent gas from the sun's surface that can reach an altitude of several hundred thousand kilometres. Prominences are visible during a total eclipse. When viewed in front of the brighter solar disc, they are called filaments
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 prominence

1590s, "projection," from obsolete French prominence (16c.), from Latin prominentia "a jutting out" (see prominent). Meaning "distinction, conspicuousness" is attested by 1827. As a type of solar phenomenon, from 1862.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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prominence in Medicine

prominence prom·i·nence (prŏm'ə-nəns)

  1. The quality or condition of being prominent.

  2. A small projection or protuberance.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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prominence in Science
An eruption of tonguelike clouds of glowing ionized gas extending from the Sun's chromosphere and sometimes reaching hundreds of thousands of kilometers into space. When viewed against the solar surface instead of along the edges of its disk, prominences appear as dark, sinuous lines known as filaments. Usually associated with sunspot activity, solar prominences can influence Earth's atmosphere by interfering with electromagnetic activity. ◇ Active prominences erupt suddenly and usually disappear within minutes or hours. Quiescent prominences form more smoothly and can last for several months. See also solar flare.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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