[trans-pair-uh n-see, -par-]
See more synonyms for transparency on
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

Related Words for transparency

clarity, pellucidity, clearness, translucence

Examples from the Web for transparency

Contemporary Examples of transparency

Historical Examples of transparency

  • It is the radiations of light which they throw off; it is their luminosity—their transparency.

  • That lamp was her charming soul, which exposed to view the transparency of her flesh.

    King Candaules

    Thophile Gautier

  • The transparency of this sentence is not unlike the transparency of corrugated glass.

    The Verbalist

    Thomas Embly Osmun, (AKA Alfred Ayres)

  • This lack of transparency and openness is ever the result of sin.

    The Calvary Road

    Roy Hession

  • At the same time he held out a hand which was wasted almost to transparency.

    The Golden Shoemaker

    J. W. Keyworth

British Dictionary definitions for transparency


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 transparency

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