from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The emission of light that does not derive energy from the temperature of the emitting body, as in phosphorescence, fluorescence, and bioluminescence. Luminescence is caused by chemical, biochemical, or crystallographic changes, the motions of subatomic particles, or radiation-induced excitation of an atomic system.
  • n. The light so emitted.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any emission of light that cannot be attributed merely to the temperature of the emitting body.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Any emission of light not ascribable directly to incandescence, and therefore occurring at low temperatures, as in phosphorescence and fluorescence or other luminous radiation resulting from vital processes, chemical action, friction, solution, or the influence of light or of ultraviolet or cathode rays, etc.
  • n.
  • n. The faculty or power of producing light by biological processes, as in the firefly and glowworm. Also called bioluminescence.
  • n. The light produced by biological or biochemical processes. Also called bioluminescence.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. See the quotation.
  • n. The emission of light from causes other than that which produces incandescence.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. light not due to incandescence; occurs at low temperatures
  • n. light from nonthermal sources


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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