36 Adjectives Describing Light
A bright constellation of adjectives referring to various qualities of light, or other phenomena related to light, is brought to light in the list below. Quite a few of them, from lucent to lustrous (and even illuminating), stem from the Latin word lucere, meaning “to shine,” while many others begin with the consonant gl-, betraying their descent from a proto-Germanic word with the same meaning.
1. Aureate: brilliantly golden; also, grandiloquent
2. Blinding: so bright as to obscure vision
3. Coruscating: flashing, or sparkling; also, brilliant or showy
4. Crepuscular: dim, or resembling twilight; also, said of animals active during twilight
5. Dappled: marked by spotted or patchy light; also, marks of this kind on a surface
6. Fluorescent: giving off light produced by another source of illumination
7. Glancing: intermittently flashing or gleaming
8. Gleaming: shining, radiant
9. Glimmering: faintly or unsteadily shining
10. Glinting: see gleaming; also, appearing briefly, or glancing briefly
11. Glistening: see lustrous
12. Glistering: see glittering
13. Glittering: flashing or sparkling; also brilliantly and/or superficially attractive or appealing
14. Glossy: bright on the surface; also, artificially opulent or sophisticated
15. Illuminating: bright or shining; also, highlighted or made clear
16. Incandescent: warm, glowing
17. Iridescent: rainbow colored
18. Lucent: bright, clear, or shining
19. Lucid: see lucent; also, easy to understand
20. Lucifugal: shunning light, as in the case of nocturnal animals
21. Lucifugous: see lucifugal
22. Luminescent: shining by chemical or physiological means
23. Luminous: full of light
24. Lustrous: smooth, evenly lit; also, brilliant or eminent
25. Opaque: blocking light; also, obtuse, or difficult to understand
26. Opalescent: see iridescent
27. Penumbral: partially shaded
28. Phosphorescent: continuing to glow after removal of a light source
29. Prismatic: brilliant, or resembling colors formed by passing light through a prism
30. Radiant: glowing, or radiating light
31. Resplendent: brilliant or glowing
32. Scintillating: sparking, or sparkling; also, brilliant, as said of personality
33. Shimmering: soft or wavering light or reflection
34. Spangling: see glittering
35. Spectral: made by a range of colors of the spectrum; also, ghostly
36. Translucent: diffused, or transparent
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