Definition of incandescent in US English:



  • 1Emitting light as a result of being heated.

    ‘plumes of incandescent liquid rock’
    • ‘The incandescent inside gleamed and sparkled.’
    • ‘Over in the west, a subliminal azure glow that had been growing brighter and brighter suddenly sent a shaft of incandescent radiance up into the atmosphere.’
    • ‘The metal flakes heat up until they are incandescent and shine brightly or, at a high enough temperature, actually burn.’
    • ‘Without sources of light, they're all lit by incandescent smolderings of light from odd corners.’
    • ‘Shield after shield failed, one after the other, and the incandescent beams carved great swathes through the legions, the few shields that did survive the initial assault reflecting onto weaker ones.’
    • ‘The bright spot is not an incandescent flare; it represents dust in the ejecta curtain spraying out from the comet, which is backlit by the Sun.’
    • ‘He was thinking about the spectrum of hydrogen, that is to say the set of separated coloured lines that are found when light from the incandescent gas is split up by being passed through a prism.’
    • ‘Dusk was past, a heavy overcast blocked the starlight, and outside of the incandescent glow that spilled from the open door, the darkness was complete.’
    • ‘The biggest impacts would have swathed our globe in incandescent rock vapor, boiling the oceans dry and sterilizing the surface worldwide.’
    • ‘He stared into that liquid, incandescent heart, and then flinched, despite all he could do, as a huge, fan-shaped billow of flame and sparks erupted from another vast piece of machinery.’
    • ‘Wildfire and Firecat barreled through the thick smoke, their laser rifles blazing an incandescent firestorm through the smoke.’
    • ‘For example, the largest would have excavated a crater the size of the British Isles, boiled the oceans and swathed the planet with incandescent rock paper sterilizing the surface pretty thoroughly.’
    • ‘Pulses of bright crimson light began to melt a passage through, and the bright shots of incandescent light blasted through the accumulated ice of aeons.’
    • ‘This is because light from an incandescent source is rich in the yellow and red end of the color spectrum.’
    • ‘The sun being, for reasons referred to above, assumed to be an incandescent liquid now losing heat, the question naturally occurs, How did this heat originate?’
    • ‘And the rising sun met the falling star and flashed into coruscant life, a roaring tide of fiery might that batted away cold beams and sent an incandescent lance of godly light in retaliation.’
    • ‘The way the energy courses through it and gives off a small incandescent glow are fantastic.’
    • ‘Any source of light - whether luminescent or incandescent (the glow emitted by a very hot object) - can be traced back to the absorption of energy and its release as light.’
    • ‘These hurricane force blasts of incandescent gas, molten lava fragments, and blocks and boulders sometimes as large as houses have the power to obliterate everything in their paths.’
    • ‘Surely you may say, the Earth is almost wholly rock and nearly all incandescent with heat.’
    white-hot, intensely hot, red-hot, burning, fiery, on fire, blazing, ablaze, aflame
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    1. 1.1 (of an electric light) containing a filament which glows white-hot when heated by a current passed through it.
      • ‘These use about 75% less energy than incandescent lamps, and emit 90% less heat for the same amount of light.’
      • ‘Even on cloudy days, a tubular skylight can provide at least as much light as a 100-watt incandescent bulb - about 1,200 lumens.’
      • ‘Halogen lighting type fixtures provide a whiter, brighter appearance than standard incandescent or fluorescent type fixtures.’
      • ‘For the same light output as an incandescent, most compact fluorescents use only one-third to one-fourth the energy.’
      • ‘They would probably drive a hybrid car and use an LED light instead of an incandescent one.’
      • ‘Fireflies may not mate normally near incandescent light because it mimics the spectrum they create when they light up.’
      • ‘The hall has fluorescent lights and incandescent spotlights mounted in the ceilings - the cases do not have their own internal illumination.’
      • ‘I saw Ethan standing in the dark with the streetlamps incandescent light shine on him.’
      • ‘Consider conducting important meetings under warmer incandescent or fluorescent lights.’
      • ‘At only 23 watts, the bulb emits as much illumination as a 100-watt incandescent bulb, making it energy efficient as it neutralizes smoke and odors.’
      • ‘The difference in turn-on time would generally not be noticeable for standard household incandescent bulbs, since they turn on very quickly.’
      • ‘In terms of lighting, fluorescent lights burn cooler than incandescent bulbs but are not as efficient in cold weather as they are gas lights and the gas is heavier when it is cold.’
      • ‘The combination of fluorescent and incandescent lamps was intended to simulate ambient solar radiation.’
      • ‘The ceiling lights were old yellow incandescent bulbs, and the monastery's little foyer smelled of wax, incense, and unwashed feet.’
      • ‘Navigation lights that use light emitting diodes in place of incandescent lamps are now available.’
      • ‘In lighting, for example, there are incandescent, compact fluorescent and LED bulbs.’
      • ‘In addition, the inconsistent mix of fluorescent and incandescent light sources throughout the hospital required continuous and costly maintenance.’
      • ‘Light figured in all but one of the works - either neon, incandescent, black or laser light, or a combination of types.’
      • ‘For example, a 60-watt incandescent bulb has very little blue/purple in the spectrum of the light it emits.’
      • ‘The 360 L.E.D. arrays and 20 yards of glowing semiconductors use the same energy as four 100-watt incandescent bulbs.’
  • 2Full of strong emotion; passionate.

    ‘Mravinsky's incandescent performance of Siegfried's Funeral March’
    • ‘Certainly the energy of Redgrave's performance for Welles is incandescent with the uncoiling of the character.’
    • ‘Consistently in almost every item, notably in Schubert's Unfinished, Brahms's Second or Bruckner's Eighth Symphonies, there is an incandescent glow that has one magnetised.’
    • ‘Like Hilberg's the style is simple, but it lacks Hilberg's incandescent intensity.’
    • ‘Marshall gives an incandescent performance vocally and dramatically as a woman desperately trying to hold on to her sanity in a world gone mad.’
    • ‘Buchner relies instead on an incandescent emotional realism which welds together the impressionistic nature of the play's structure and argument.’
    • ‘His jewellery is magnificent - mostly flaming, incandescent rubies that glow like embers.’
    • ‘As one of the unlikely revolutionaries of the postwar years, Kinsey certainly engages me more than Howard Hughes, though not as much as the incandescent Ray Charles.’
    • ‘All he got was a Mozart opera where the singing was incandescent, the orchestra sparkled, and the brilliant production brought the Don to life in a modern setting.’
    • ‘These are just a few of the incandescent performances Quinn left behind.’
    • ‘He quotes from the incandescent love sonnets of Louise Labe and Maurice Sceve with a startling but unaccountable urgency.’
    • ‘This film brought to light his incandescent talent.’
    • ‘At the time, the brightest working-class boys often entered clerkdom, one of the few professions then open to them, and they often brought to their office an incandescent intellectual passion.’
    • ‘This probably is a good time to mention that the performance is incandescent, with inspired and inspirational work coming from everyone involved.’
    • ‘The principals are all effective in their roles, but the key to the film's success is Dorothy Dandridge's incandescent performance as Carmen.’
    • ‘Rustic, nakedly beautiful and breathless, part Fahey as it dustily scratches away at your resistance until you can do nothing but succumb to its incandescent inner passion.’
    1. 2.1 Extremely angry.
      ‘she was incandescent at the way the IRS acted’
      • ‘To get me incandescent with rage, it usually just takes New Yorkers and a confined space.’
      • ‘He claims to have shouted at the radio within five minutes of switching it on in the morning and of being incandescent with rage by the time he has read the daily papers.’
      • ‘They are simply incandescent with rage that while the working classes unionists may have had little, at least they had more than the Catholics.’
      • ‘This was David as he had never seen him, practically incandescent with rage.’
      • ‘If I ask them what television channel they'd like to watch, two of them will quickly agree, while the third will turn incandescent with rage.’
      • ‘Dolly was close to incandescent in her outrage, and swore at me in a most unladylike manner.’
      • ‘I was incandescent with rage at the thought that someone I considered a friend (albeit a slightly flaky one) would be so thoughtless.’
      • ‘It was at this moment that Brownlow's agent appeared, an hour too late, with inadequate support, and incandescent with rage.’
      • ‘A senior party source said: ‘People are outraged and incandescent with rage.’’
      • ‘I swung from blind happiness to almost incandescent, unfocused rage within a second, almost before I had a chance to think about it.’
      • ‘‘Yes, I was angry, even incandescent with rage,’ he said.’
      • ‘Amid all this excitement one of the goons rode off on Andrew's bike. To say Andrew was incandescent with rage would not be overstating it, but he managed to compose himself enough to get into the car.’
      • ‘I don't get angry very often, but I got incandescent with rage at their attitude and the smugness of it.’
      • ‘Mara stood there, face incandescent with rage, eyes blazing with purple wrath and entire body outlined in a shimmering nimbus of terrible light.’
      • ‘Jack, until now delighted with what was on the way in his pay packet at the end of the month, was suddenly incandescent with rage.’
      • ‘My members are incandescent with rage over the present system, so what replaces it must be right this time. There's no room for any more botch-ups.’
      • ‘Like the classics, for example - I'm incandescent with rage that Greek and Latin are no longer compulsory in schools.’
      • ‘He was incandescent with rage.’
      • ‘I sustained a neck injury and the taxi driver was incandescent with rage.’
      • ‘I am incandescent with rage about the overselling of that mediocre piece of less-than-fluff that masquerades as the ultimate romantic comedy.’
      furious, enraged, raging, very angry, incensed, seething, infuriated, fuming, boiling, inflamed, irate, wrathful, in a temper, beside oneself
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Late 18th century: from French, from Latin incandescent- ‘glowing’, from the verb incandescere, from in- (expressing intensive force) + candescere ‘become white’ (from candidus ‘white’).