Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for September 25, 2020 is:

translucent • trans-LOO-sunt  • adjective

1 : permitting the passage of light:

a : transmitting and diffusing light so that objects beyond cannot be seen clearly

b : clear, transparent

2 : free from disguise or falseness


“The dish starts with the gentle, slow sweating of diced onions. Once the onions are translucent, the minced garlic and jalapeno get added to the pot.” — Anita L. Arambula, The San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 Aug. 2020

“Li’s novel jumps from Lilia’s life in the retirement home to her past and back to Roland’s journals with an effortless ease that lulls readers into the translucent bond that tethers Lilia to Roland after decades of silence.” — TinaMarie Craven, The Ridgefield (Connecticut) Press, 11 Aug. 2020

Did you know?

Look closely and you will see the same group of three letters in translucent and elucidate, letting the family relationship between the two words shine through. Both terms descend from the Latin word lucēre, meaning “to shine.” (Translucent is from lucēre plus trans-, which means “through.”) When you elucidate something, you make it clear by explaining it in a way that can be easily understood—you shed light on it. Lucēre is also the root of another bright and shining English word, lucid, which can mean either “bright with light” or “clear and easy to understand.”

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