[ loo-muh-nuhns ]
See synonyms for luminance on
  1. the state or quality of being luminous.

  2. Also called luminosity. the quality or condition of radiating or reflecting light: the blinding luminance of the sun.

  1. Optics. the quantitative measure of brightness of a light source or an illuminated surface, equal to luminous flux per unit solid angle emitted per unit projected area of the source or surface.

Origin of luminance

1875–80; <Latin lūmin- (stem of lūmen) light + -ance

Words Nearby luminance Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use luminance in a sentence

  • A luminance seemed to come from above, from the unseen heights of the magnificent double staircase.

  • The silhouette disappeared, and, shortly afterwards, the gray luminance.

    The Yellow Claw | Sax Rohmer

British Dictionary definitions for luminance


/ (ˈluːmɪnəns) /

  1. a state or quality of radiating or reflecting light

  2. a measure (in candelas per square metre) of the brightness of a point on a surface that is radiating or reflecting light. It is the luminous intensity in a given direction of a small element of surface area divided by the orthogonal projection of this area onto a plane at right angles to the direction: Symbol: L

Origin of luminance

C19: from Latin lūmen light

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 luminance


[ lōōmə-nəns ]

  1. The luminous intensity of a light source per unit area. Occasionally the lambert unit is used to measure luminance. Also called photometric brightness

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.