- the proportion of the light that is passed through the emulsion on an area of a photographic image.
- a photographic print on a clear base for viewing by transmitted light.
Origin of transparency
OTHER WORDS FROM transparencynon·trans·par·ence, nounnon·trans·par·en·cy, noun
Words nearby transparency
MORE ABOUT TRANSPARENCY
What does transparency mean?
Transparency is the quality or state of being transparent. It is perhaps most commonly used in a figurative way to refer to a state in which things are free from any attempt to hide something, as in The administration has been praised for its transparency with the press.
It can also be used to mean a state in which something is literally transparent—able to be seen through or allowing light to pass through clearly. A clear glass window is transparent in this way. However, something doesn’t need to be completely clear to be considered transparent. A fine mesh that is able to be seen through could be described as transparent.
The word translucence (the noun form of the adjective translucent) is sometimes used as a synonym for transparency. In technical contexts, though, describing something as translucent means that it allows light to pass through but diffuses it so that whatever is on the other side cannot be fully seen. For example, a frosted glass window could be said to be translucent but not transparent (you can see what’s on the other side, but not clearly). Still, in everyday conversation, these literal senses of the words are typically used to mean the same thing.
Another figurative sense of transparency refers to the state of being obvious or easy to understand or figure out, as in I always appreciate transparency in instructions—the simpler the better.
Transparency can also refer to something that is transparent. More specifically, it’s used to refer to a clear sheet (also called a slide) featuring an image that can be projected through the use of a slide projector.
Example: Consumer advocates have been pushing the company to increase transparency around its supply chain.
Where does transparency come from?
The first records of the word transparency come from around 1600. It ultimately comes from the Medieval Latin verb transpārēre, meaning “to show through,” from trans-, meaning “through,” and the Latin verb pārēre, meaning “to appear” or “to be visible” (pārēre is also the root of the words appear and apparent).
Transparency in a process involves it being completely visible and open to scrutiny, so that it’s clear that nothing is being hidden. This sense of the word is especially used in the context of politicians, government agencies, and businesses and calls for them to be more transparent or increase their transparency. The opposite of this is being secretive.
The opposite of the literal sense of transparency is opacity, which is the state of being opaque—not able to be seen through at all or not allowing any light to pass through.
Did you know ... ?
What are some other forms related to transparency?
- transparence (less common variant)
- transparent (adjective)
What are some synonyms for transparency?
- translucence (in casual, literal use)
What are some words that share a root or word element with transparency?
What are some words that often get used in discussing transparency?
What are some words transparency may be commonly confused with?
- translucence (in technical, literal contexts)
How is transparency used in real life?
Transparency is most commonly used in a figurative sense in the context of government agencies and companies, which people often call on to increase transparency in dealings with citizens and customers.
1979: @CSPAN cameras began filming floor proceedings to increase transparency.
2019: The Modernization Committee wants the American people to know who is lobbying Congress, the impact of legislation on current law & how their Representatives are voting in committees. pic.twitter.com/qzOqywhbIU
— Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress (@ModernizeCmte) November 6, 2020
I really hope @KidFury and @crissles know just how much personal healing they have brought so many people like me and the people I love with their transparency about therapy. I know y'all don't like compliments but your honesty is truly getting folks free.
— Ryan Ken (@Ryan_Ken_Acts) November 10, 2020
The transparency of the vote count cannot be stressed enough—not to mention, the media access. These are two great shots of poll workers w observers (one in collaboration) at Allegheny County Election Warehouse after Pittsburg vote. (📷 John Altdorfer @reutersimages) pic.twitter.com/fR8W9C3BYV
— Reading The Pictures (@ReadingThePix) November 7, 2020
Try using transparency!
Which of the following words is NOT a synonym of transparency?
How to use transparency in a sentence
Governments could have demanded transparency and low prices.Oxford’s COVID vaccine deal with AstraZeneca raises concerns about access and pricing|lbelanger225|August 24, 2020|Fortune
Solana Beach has revealed itself to be especially hostile to transparency during the pandemic.Morning Report: SDPD Says It Will Stop Seditious Language Tickets|Voice of San Diego|August 17, 2020|Voice of San Diego
Unfortunately, data trusts do not guarantee more transparency.The EU is launching a market for personal data. Here’s what that means for privacy.|Amy Nordrum|August 11, 2020|MIT Technology Review
Meyer’s overture of transparency does not appear to have swayed legislators.Social Shorts: TikTok’s future, Quora lead-gen ads, Facebook’s India plans|Ginny Marvin|August 3, 2020|Search Engine Land
By going the extra mile and first creating and presenting a forecast based on their current traffic and the search trends that might influence them, you lay out a foundation of transparency and easily researchable assumptions.How to craft a winning SEO proposal and avoid getting a silent ‘No’|Sponsored Content: SEOmonitor|August 3, 2020|Search Engine Land
The hope was that greater transparency about performance would drive results.The ‘No Child’ Rewrite Threatens Your Kids’ Future|Jonah Edelman|January 3, 2015|DAILY BEAST
The old culture of the Party of Regions—its lack of transparency, the graft and the shady deal making—has returned.East Ukraine: Back in the USSR|Jamie Dettmer|November 19, 2014|DAILY BEAST
The question, of course, is how far LDS authorities will go in this new commitment to transparency.God vs. the Internet. And the Winner is…|Michael Schulson|November 16, 2014|DAILY BEAST
They are meant to show that the Church has adopted a new line of transparency on clerical sex abuse.How Sicko Priests Got Away With It|Barbie Latza Nadeau|November 16, 2014|DAILY BEAST
We need to believe that Taylor's actions yesterday are pure, or the transparency loses its potency.Taylor Swift Dumps Spotify, Igniting Turf War Between Spotify and Apple|Dale Eisinger|November 4, 2014|DAILY BEAST
From side windows there comes a good light; and from the roof, which has a central transparency, additional clearness is obtained.Our Churches and Chapels|Atticus
Colour, and what in painting is called transparency, belong chiefly to shade.Field's Chromatography|George Field
He has great skill in the transparency and clearness of his tones.
Great cities stud its shores; but they are powerless to dim the transparency of its waters.The Ontario Readers: Fourth Book|Various
A pilot-house with its elevated position and transparency seemed a poor place to be in when fighting was going on.Mark Twain, A Biography, 1835-1910, Complete|Albert Bigelow Paine