[ in-kuh n-des-uh ns ]
/ ˌɪn kənˈdɛs əns /


the emission of visible light by a body, caused by its high temperature.Compare luminescence.
the light produced by such an emission.
the quality of being incandescent.

Origin of incandescence

First recorded in 1650–60; incandesc(ent) + -ence

OTHER WORDS FROM incandescence

non·in·can·des·cence, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for incandescence

British Dictionary definitions for incandescence



/ (ˌɪnkænˈdɛsəns) /


the emission of light by a body as a consequence of raising its temperatureCompare luminescence
the light produced by raising the temperature of a body
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

Scientific definitions for incandescence

[ ĭn′kən-dĕsəns ]

The emission of visible light from a substance or object as a result of heating it to a high temperature. The color of the light emitted from solids and liquids is a function of their chemical structure and their temperature; the higher the temperature, the more intense and even the distribution of frequencies is (that is, higher temperatures create brighter and whiter light than lower temperatures). Compare fluorescence. See also blackbody radiation.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.