- the production of light by living organisms.
Origin of bioluminescence
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- the production of light by living organisms as a result of the oxidation of a light-producing substance (luciferin) by the enzyme luciferase: occurs in many marine organisms, insects such as the firefly, etc
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
also bio-luminescent, 1929; see bioluminescence.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- The emission of light by living organisms, such as fireflies, glowworms, and certain fish, jellyfish, plankton, fungi, and bacteria. It occurs when a pigment (usually luciferin) is oxidized without giving off heat. Although it is believed that bioluminescence is involved in animal communication, its function in many organisms has yet to be understood. Bioluminescence is a form of chemiluminescence. Compare chemiluminescence.
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