1 a : white, glowing, or luminous with intense heat
b : strikingly bright, radiant, or clear
c : marked by brilliance especially of expression
d : characterized by glowing zeal : ardent
2 a : of, relating to, or being light produced by incandescence
b : producing light by incandescence
Did You Know?
Incandescent first lit up the English language toward the end of the 18th century, at a time when scientific experiments involving heat and light were being conducted on an increasingly frequent basis. An object that glowed at a high temperature (such as a piece of coal) was incandescent. By the mid-1800s, the incandescent lamp—aka the lightbulb—had been invented; it contains a filament which gives off light when heated by an electric current. Incandescent is the modern offspring of a much older parent, the Latin verb candēre, meaning “to glow.” Centuries earlier, the word for another source of light, candle, was also derived from candēre.
The attic was lit by a single incandescent bulb, but that was all the light we needed to read the labels on the storage boxes.
“Her husband, Patrick Loungway, a cinematographer, suggested that she use an anamorphic lens to replicate the look of a CinemaScope film. The wide lens, in conjunction with theatrical lighting that varies from golden glow to incandescent glare, provides the sense of Hollywood transport and reverie she sought.” — Arthur Lubow, The New York Times, 26 Oct. 2020