Word of The Day for Wednesday, February 2, 2011


lam•bent (LAM-buhnt)  adj

1. brushing or flickering gently over a surface
2. glowing or luminous, but lacking heat
3. exhibiting lightness or brilliance of wit; clever or witty without unkindness

lambency noun; lambently adverb

1647; from figurative use of L. lambentem (nom. lambens), prp. of lambere "to lick," from PIE base *lab-

Synonyms: beaming, brilliant, candescent, effulgent, fulgent, glowing, incandescent, bright, lucent, luminous, lustrous, radiant, refulgent, bright
Related Words: lamprey

Sentence Examples:
• His wit is bright, his humour attractive, but both bear the same relation to his serious genius that the mere lambent sheet-lightning playing under the edge of the summer-cloud does to the electric death-spark hid in its womb. -Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte

• As she spoke, the beautiful apparition held up her delicate hand. From the tip of each of her long taper fingers issued a lambent flame of such surpassing brilliancy as would have plunged a whole gas company into despair--it was a 'Hand of Glory,' -Grey Dolphin, Richard Harris Barham

• The rolling of heaven’s artillery seemed to afford inexpressible satisfaction to his little heart, but it was the lightning that affected him most. It filled him with a species of awful joy. No matter how it came—whether in the forked flashes of the storm, or the lambent gleamings of the summer sky—he would sit and gaze at it in solemn wonder.  -The Battery and the Boiler, R.M. Ballantyne

The Storyline
The room was dead. All three were paralyzed and not sure they had understood what had just happened in the past few minutes. Perhaps it was the long needed release, perhaps it was a cognitive break but softly a lambent change began to flicker in her eyes.

Sources: Wiktionary, Online Etymology

Word-E: A Word-A-Day

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