Sally M (sallymn) wrote in 1word1day,
Sally M

Sunday Word: Pellucid

pellucid [puh-loo-sid]
1 admitting maximum passage of light without diffusion or distortion; translucent
2 reflecting light evenly from all surfaces
3 easy to understand


Despite its pellucid language and forthright syntax, this poem is not as innocuous as its title suggests. (Deborah Brown, Poem: Just to Be Clear, The New York Times Magazine, April 19)

Here also is the Pigeon Hole, a subterraneous cavern of some length, traversed by a pellucid stream abounding with trout, which may be seen darting from side to side, and are only taken by landing-nets. (Leigh's New Pocket Road-book of Ireland)

In the atmosphere of the Easterly weather, as pellucid as a piece of crystal and refracting like a prism, we could see the appalling numbers of our helpless company, even to those who in more normal conditions would have remained invisible, sails down under the horizon. (Joseph Conrad, The Mirror of the Sea)


'transparent, translucent, admitting the passage of light,' 1610s, from Latin pellucidus 'transparent,' from pellucere 'shine through,' from per- 'through' (from PIE root per- 'forward,' hence 'through') + lucere 'to shine' (from suffixed form of PIE root leuk- 'light, brightness') (Online Etymology Dictionary)

Pellucid is formed from Latin per ('through') plus lucidus - a word meaning 'lucid, clear' that ultimately derives from the verb lucēre, meaning 'to shine.' Lucēre has many shining relatives in English. Among them are translucent (essentially, 'clear enough to allow light to pass through'), elucidate ('to make clear, explain'), lucent ('luminous' or 'clear'), and of course lucid itself (which can mean 'shining,' 'mentally sound,' or 'easily understood'). Another related word is Lucifer (a name for the devil that literally means 'light-bearer'). Other relatives - such as lackluster ('lacking brightness'), illustrate (originally, 'to make bright'), and lustrous ('shining' or 'radiant') - trace from the related Latin verb lustrare ('to brighten'). Clearly, pellucid is just one of a family of brilliant terms. (Merriam-Webster)

Tags: adjective, latin, p, wordsmith: sallymn

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