[trans-pair-uh n-see, -par-]
noun, plural trans·par·en·cies.
  1. Also trans·par·ence. the quality or state of being transparent.
  2. something transparent, especially a picture, design, or the like on glass or some translucent substance, made visible by light shining through from behind.
  3. Photography.
    1. the proportion of the light that is passed through the emulsion on an area of a photographic image.
    2. a photographic print on a clear base for viewing by transmitted light.

Origin of transparency

From the Medieval Latin word trānspārentia, dating back to 1585–95. See transparent, -ency
Related formsnon·trans·par·ence, nounnon·trans·par·en·cy, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for transparence

Historical Examples of transparence

  • And the poor lady is abashed at the transparence of her evasion.

  • They have the transparence of soul and the lights of childhood.

  • Lower down, the water had carried the slightest cloud of alkali, and this had dulled the keen edge of its transparence.

    The Virginian

    Owen Wister

  • The water is still green as emerald, and has the same luminous quiver and transparence of verdancy which the gem possesses.

  • The long sails, passing for a moment over the sun, became lighted up with a singular glory and transparence.

British Dictionary definitions for transparence


noun plural -cies
  1. Also called: transparence the state of being transparent
  2. Also called: slide a positive photograph on a transparent base, usually mounted in a frame or between glass plates. It can be viewed by means of a slide projector
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 transparence



1610s, "condition of being transparent," from Medieval Latin transparentia, from transparentem (see transparent). Meaning "that which is transparent" is from 1590s; of pictures, prints, etc., from 1785; in photography from 1866.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper