[ev-uh-nes-uh nt]


vanishing; fading away; fleeting.
tending to become imperceptible; scarcely perceptible.

Origin of evanescent

1745–55; < Latin ēvānēscent- (stem of ēvānēscēns) vanishing, disappearing. See evanesce, -ent
Related formsev·a·nes·cent·ly, adverbnon·ev·a·nes·cent, adjectivenon·ev·a·nes·cent·ly, adverbun·ev·a·nes·cent, adjectiveun·ev·a·nes·cent·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for evanescent

Contemporary Examples of evanescent

Historical Examples of evanescent

  • Its nature is like opaline doves'-neck lustres, hovering and evanescent.

    Essays, First Series

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • You seek sympathy, and all you get is the most evanescent sense of relief—if you get that much.


    Joseph Conrad

  • But a dewdrop is evanescent, and there was nothing evanescent about Freya.

  • What a pity that they are as evanescent as the bloom of these flowers and the fragrance they exhale!

    Ernest Linwood

    Caroline Lee Hentz

  • That life, when it is real, is not evanescent; is not slight; does not vanish away.

British Dictionary definitions for evanescent



passing out of sight; fading away; vanishing
ephemeral or transitory
Derived Formsevanescence, nounevanescently, adverb
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 evanescent

1717, from French évanescent, from Latin evanescentem (nominative evanescens), present participle of evanescere "disappear, vanish," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + vanescere "vanish" (see vanish).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for evanescent




Of short duration; passing away quickly.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.