• synonyms


[kem-uh-loo-muh-nes-uh ns]
  1. (in chemical reactions) the emission of light by an atom or molecule that is in an excited state.
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Origin of chemiluminescence

First recorded in 1900–05; chemi- + luminescence
Related formschem·i·lu·mi·nes·cent, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for chemiluminescence

Historical Examples of chemiluminescence

  • Moreover, as we have seen, chemiluminescence is essentially an oxyluminescence, since oxygen is necessary for the reaction.

    The Nature of Animal Light

    E. Newton Harvey

British Dictionary definitions for chemiluminescence


  1. the phenomenon in which a chemical reaction leads to the emission of light without incandescence
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Derived Formschemiluminescent, adjective
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

chemiluminescence in Science


  1. The emission of light by a substance as a result of undergoing a chemical reaction that does not involve an increase in its temperature. Chemiluminescence usually occurs when a highly oxidized molecule, such as a peroxide, reacts with another molecule. The bond between the two oxygen atoms in a peroxide is relatively weak, and when it breaks the atoms must reorganize themselves, releasing energy in the form of light. Compare bioluminescence.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.