[trans-pair-uhnt, -par-]
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  1. having the property of transmitting rays of light through its substance so that bodies situated beyond or behind can be distinctly seen.
  2. admitting the passage of light through interstices.
  3. so sheer as to permit light to pass through; diaphanous.
  4. easily seen through, recognized, or detected: transparent excuses.
  5. manifest; obvious: a story with a transparent plot.
  6. open; frank; candid: the man's transparent earnestness.
  7. Computers. (of a process or software) operating in such a way as to not be perceived by users.
  8. Obsolete. shining through, as light.

Origin of transparent

1375–1425; late Middle English < Medieval Latin trānspārent- (stem of trānspārēns) showing through (present participle of trānspārēre), equivalent to Latin trāns- trans- + pārent- (stem of pārēns), present participle of pārēre to appear; see apparent
Related formstrans·par·ent·ly, adverbtrans·par·ent·ness, nounnon·trans·par·ent, adjectivenon·trans·par·ent·ly, adverbnon·trans·par·ent·ness, nounsub·trans·par·ent, adjectivesub·trans·par·ent·ly, adverbsub·trans·par·ent·ness, nounun·trans·par·ent, adjectiveun·trans·par·ent·ly, adverbun·trans·par·ent·ness, noun
Can be confusedtranslucent transparent (see synonym study at the current entry)

Synonyms for transparent

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1. clear, pellucid, limpid, crystalline. T ransparent , translucent agree in describing material that light rays can pass through. That which is transparent allows objects to be seen clearly through it: Clear water is transparent. That which is translucent allows light to pass through, diffusing it, however, so that objects beyond are not distinctly seen: Ground glass is translucent.

Antonyms for transparent Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for transparent

Contemporary Examples of transparent

Historical Examples of transparent

British Dictionary definitions for transparent


  1. permitting the uninterrupted passage of light; cleara window is transparent
  2. easy to see through, understand, or recognize; obvious
  3. (of a substance or object) permitting the free passage of electromagnetic radiationa substance that is transparent to X-rays
  4. candid, open, or frank
Derived Formstransparently, adverbtransparentness, noun

Word Origin for transparent

C15: from Medieval Latin transpārēre to show through, from Latin trans- + pārēre to appear
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 transparent

early 15c., from Medieval Latin transparentem (nominative transparens), present participle of transparere "show light through," from Latin trans- "through" (see trans-) + parere "come in sight, appear" (see appear). Figurative sense of "easily seen through" is first attested 1590s. The attempt to back-form a verb transpare (c.1600) died with the 17c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

transparent in Science


  1. Allowing radiation or matter to pass through with little or no resistance or diffusion. Compare opaque translucent. See Note at glass.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.