In a word: pellucid

The Baltimore Sun

Each week The Sun's John McIntyre presents a relatively obscure but evocative word with which you may not be familiar, another brick to add to the wall of your working vocabulary. This week's word:


We like the light. This week's word, pellucid (pronounced puh-LOO-sid), shows the many ways in which we favor it. 

An original sense is "transparent" or "translucent," allowing the passage of light. That was the sense of the Latin pellucidus, from pellucere, "to shine through."

The word retains that sense, but it has long been extended metaphorically. Speaking of a person or  a mind, it can mean "clearly perceiving" or "not confused." It can mean "clear" and "readily intelligible," as when we speak of "pellucid prose." It can mean "shining" or "iridescent." The sense is always positive. 

Example: From R.C. Hutchinson"s Stepmother: "She saw an accomplishment that seemed, in her pellucid vision of those moments, to transcend men's common victories." 

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