[ dahy-af-uh-nuh s ]
/ daɪˈæf ə nəs /


very sheer and light; almost completely transparent or translucent.
delicately hazy.

Nearby words

  1. diaper rash,
  2. diaphaneity,
  3. diaphanometer,
  4. diaphanoscope,
  5. diaphanoscopy,
  6. diaphemetric,
  7. diaphone,
  8. diaphony,
  9. diaphorase,
  10. diaphoresis

Origin of diaphanous

1605–15; < Medieval Latin diaphanus < Greek diaphan(ḗs) transparent, equivalent to diaphan-, stem of diaphaínein to show through (see dia-, -phane) + -ēs adj. suffix) + -ous

Related forms
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for diaphanous

British Dictionary definitions for diaphanous


/ (daɪˈæfənəs) /


(usually of fabrics such as silk) fine and translucent
Derived Formsdiaphanously, adverbdiaphanousness or diaphaneity (ˌdaɪəfəˈniːɪtɪ), noun

Word Origin for diaphanous

C17: from Medieval Latin diaphanus, from Greek diaphanēs transparent, from diaphainein to show through, from dia- + phainein to show

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 diaphanous



1610s, from Medieval Latin diaphanus, from Greek diaphanes "transparent," from dia- "through" (see dia-) + phainesthai, middle voice form (subject acting on itself) of phainein "to show" (see phantasm).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper