Definition of transparent in US English:



  • 1(of a material or article) allowing light to pass through so that objects behind can be distinctly seen.

    ‘transparent blue water’
    • ‘Then there are the transparent materials which show everything, and I do mean everything.’
    • ‘They're gloves made of a transparent material.’
    • ‘A mixed media approach was adopted with transparent fabrics and various materials used along side hardware products.’
    • ‘The composition is effective through the use of converging diagonals and the play of light on the transparent materials.’
    • ‘The wares were characterized by a brilliant white body and thin transparent glazes.’
    • ‘One advantage of PVC is that, unlike most transparent materials, it is soft.’
    • ‘Glass is transparent, it refracts light, it may be coloured and it may be surface decorated by cutting, grinding, sand blasting and painting.’
    • ‘The projection screen is fabricated of a substantially transparent material, such as glass or plastic.’
    • ‘They were made of a transparent material that allowed the warriors to see inside.’
    • ‘Glass is not the only transparent material, but it may have been the most important.’
    • ‘She whipped about, sending black curls dancing, and plastered her body to the thick layer of transparent material behind her.’
    • ‘That sort of element of surprise keeps me intrigued by transparent materials and trickery - how you can fool the eye with light and shadows cast.’
    • ‘Painted in light, transparent oil paints, they appear to be isolated from their surrounding, often forming a direct relationship with the spectator.’
    • ‘For the scientists too, the pyramid is a fascinating object of study, especially when made of glass or other transparent material.’
    • ‘Silicon is naturally transparent to infrared light waves, so photons passing through it usually have no effect.’
    • ‘The transparent glass railing allows guests to see the entire stage.’
    • ‘The little shrunken body had become almost transparent.’
    • ‘These fibrils are too small to scatter light, and so the material is virtually transparent.’
    • ‘Specific wavelengths are absorbed as light passes through a transparent gem or is reflected from the surface of an opaque gem.’
    • ‘But what makes it even more unique is its transparent fabric, which allows for amazing underwater viewing.’
    see-through, clear, translucent, pellucid, crystal clear, crystalline, limpid, glassy, glass-like, liquid
    filmy, gauzy, fine, sheer, light, lightweight, thin, flimsy, see-through, diaphanous, chiffony, gossamer, delicate
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    1. 1.1 Easy to perceive or detect.
      ‘the residents will see through any transparent attempt to buy their votes’
      ‘the meaning of the poem is by no means transparent’
      • ‘Its elections a few months ago were a sham, a transparent attempt to provide a democratic cloak for a body which is anything but democratic.’
      • ‘The deal included modest increases in pension benefits, a transparent attempt to win support from older and higher-seniority longshoremen at the expense of the work force as a whole.’
      • ‘This was a transparent attempt to prove his toughness on crime.’
      • ‘This was a transparent attempt on her part to increase her equalization payment.’
      • ‘Despite his transparent attempt to slip this out unnoticed, he has to explain why he apparently broke the law.’
      • ‘The transparent attempts to come across as wise and selfless only increase my distaste for this woman.’
      • ‘This is a pretty transparent attempt to parrot the administration line that this is nothing more than another beltway tempest in a teapot.’
      • ‘They publish and broadcast fluffy, weak, and uncritical stories in a transparent attempt to ingratiate themselves to communities.’
      • ‘His chances of career survival are made bleaker by his transparent and clumsy attempts to turn himself into the victim.’
      • ‘We assumed that he could see right through the fairly transparent seduction attempts that people were laying in front of him practically every five minutes.’
      • ‘The entire ad is built around an entirely intentional and fairly transparent attempt to deceive viewers.’
      • ‘His frantic attempts, transparent and pathetic, to remould himself into something he is not compromised his dignity.’
      • ‘He charged that the government had reversed itself in a transparent attempt to get rid of him.’
      • ‘The Army's inspector general report is a transparent attempt at damage control.’
      • ‘Too few examine the transparent social conditions that conspire to make them the easiest targets for murder.’
      • ‘It's a fairly transparent attempt by the Prime Minister to avoid scrutiny and further revealing of the truth whilst trying to appear not to be doing so.’
      • ‘In a transparent attempt to defuse the explosive anger that swept the Arab world, they promised to hold those responsible accountable.’
      • ‘Looks like that last-ditch and blatantly transparent attempt at a smear campaign didn't work at all.’
      • ‘Again, no rational person could view such transparent nonsense as genuine apologies.’
      obvious, explicit, unambiguous, unequivocal, clear, lucid, straightforward, plain, plain as the nose on your face, as plain as the nose on your face, apparent, unmistakable, manifest, conspicuous, patent, indisputable, self-evident
      blatant, flagrant, obvious, patent, manifest, undisguised, unconcealed, barefaced, glaring, shameless, brazen, bold, unmistakable, clear, plain, visible, noticeable, recognizable, distinct, evident, apparent, perceptible, discernible, palpable
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    2. 1.2 Having thoughts, feelings, or motives that are easily perceived.
      ‘you'd be no good at poker—you're too transparent’
      • ‘Of course we understand that, by reason of its stewardship of the nation's security, the MoD cannot always be as open and transparent in its dealings as other government departments.’
      • ‘If the government wants to introduce identity cards let it be through open and transparent discussion and ultimately through the ballot box.’
      • ‘‘In terms of being open, democratic or transparent, it has totally failed in that regard,’ he said.’
      • ‘They urged the government to properly consider public emotions over this high-attention case, and they said that the best strategy is to be open and transparent.’
      • ‘Well, I've made my point of view very clear, very open, very transparent and on the record and now it is up to him to answer those questions.’
      • ‘It is genuinely open, transparent and accessible.’
      • ‘But it is too pat, and though he may joke about such transparent, easily reduced motivations, he clings too strongly to them.’
      • ‘Essentially, the conference founders are perfectly transparent and open about their perspectives, so I have only admiration for them in that regard.’
      • ‘His observations underscored my basic conviction that broad-based prosperity is only created in an open, transparent society where things are done according to the rule of law.’
      • ‘‘The bilateral interactions and exchanges between the two countries have been sound, open and transparent,’ he said.’
      • ‘It has not been as transparent and as open as promised.’
      • ‘It is a broad issue, first of all, about culture, about having an open and transparent culture, and about changing that culture.’
      • ‘We want to be open and transparent about everything.’
      • ‘You decided to become transparent, Western, open, et cetera.’
      • ‘Now I don't think anything can be more open, transparent and reasonable’
      • ‘We need to release our fears, to be open and transparent.’
      • ‘It is very open and transparent and we are held up in Europe as an example of good practice.’
      • ‘Some of it is due to the fact that we have more open and transparent societies and thus discovery of abuses is easier.’
    3. 1.3 (of an organization or its activities) open to public scrutiny.
      ‘if you had transparent government procurement, corruption would go away’
      • ‘Indeed, public auctions of the items would be the fairest and most transparent manner to sell the goods.’
      • ‘Have exhaustive hearings and do all of that so it's open and transparent, and everybody can participate in it.’
      • ‘The council had taken a decision on the gas in the best interests of the county and it was done in an open, frank, professional and transparent way.’
      • ‘The best candidate won in a fully transparent procedure, she said.’
      • ‘‘I am satisfied because the winner was chosen in a completely open and transparent procedure,’ he said.’
      • ‘In a transparent organization, the right vendor can reach the right person.’
      • ‘States should also take steps to ensure that any deprivation of life is fully investigated in an open and transparent way.’
      • ‘Although there are good reasons for that protection, it needs to be properly balanced with a transparent process for public complaint.’
      • ‘The auto makers complain your organization isn't transparent.’
      • ‘But that role in turn has to be carried out in a fully accountable and transparent way.’
      • ‘The process by which products are selected needs to be open and transparent, not carried out behind closed doors.’
      • ‘They received public money yet failed to be accountable or transparent for their activities.’
      • ‘If the companies decided that the Government was not playing a fair game with them, and felt that there was no open, fair and transparent procedure, they would go somewhere else, he said.’
      • ‘I believe that gives the public some certainty that this is an open, transparent process.’
      • ‘It will be done in a competitive and transparent way.’
      • ‘But unless I'm mistaken, the invitation itself wasn't made as a result of a transparent process, with public comments.’
      • ‘The rules provide a framework for public competition; ensuring commercial leasing is a fair, open, impartial and transparent process.’
      • ‘However, so long as such activities are open and transparent, they will be subject to public scrutiny.’
      • ‘I submit that they have never demonstrated the existence of such a machine in an open and transparent way.’
      frank, open, candid, honest, direct, forthright, unreserved, plain-spoken, straight, straightforward, ingenuous, innocent, guileless, simple, artless
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    4. 1.4Physics Transmitting heat or other electromagnetic rays without distortion.
      • ‘The tracers do not influence the stream, they drift together with the flow, but the tracers are not transparent for irradiation.’
      • ‘Also, the paint can be transparent to some of the infrared power and nearby objects may ‘feel’ the heat.’
      • ‘Both are mostly transparent to sunlight and are heated in similar ways - largely by infrared radiation that emanates from their surfaces.’
      • ‘Since the disk is practically not absorbing - that is, transparent for fluorescent radiation - we don't encounter the problem.’
      • ‘Although the primordial plasma became transparent to photons after the universe cooled, the photons did not travel unhindered afterwards.’
      • ‘A first planar electrode layer being transparent is disposed on an inner surface of the first substrate.’
    5. 1.5Computing (of a process or interface) functioning without the user being aware of its presence.
      • ‘When the server is configured to handle a page redirection, the process is transparent to the user and causes no problems.’
      • ‘To the user this process is transparent, only the CPU knows in what order the instructions were actually executed.’
      • ‘For IT to accept automation, it must be transparent to users and downstream applications.’
      • ‘Furthermore, they are completely transparent to existing network architectures and management systems.’
      • ‘The process is transparent to the user, who clicks on a link on the host site and is transported to a shopping site bearing the original site's branding.’


Late Middle English: from Old French, from medieval Latin transparent- ‘shining through’, from Latin transparere, from trans- ‘through’ + parere ‘appear’.