• IPA: /daɪˈæf.ən.əs/


  1. Transparent or translucent; allowing light to pass through; capable of being seen through.
    • 1899 February, Joseph Conrad, “The Heart of Darkness”, in Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, volume CLXV, number M, New York, N.Y.: The Leonard Scott Publishing Company, […], OCLC 1042815524 ↗, part I:
      The water shone pacifically; the sky, without a speck, was a benign immensity of unstained light; the very mist on the Essex marsh was like a gauzy and radiant fabric, hung from the wooded rises inland, and draping the low shores in diaphanous folds.
    • 2004, Gustave Flaubert, Margaret Maulden (translator), Madame Bovary: Provincial Manners, page 98 ↗,
      The evening mist, drifting among the leafless poplars, veiled their silhouettes with a violet film, paler and more translucent than the most diaphanous gauze that might have caught in their branches.
  2. Of a fine, almost transparent, texture; gossamer; light and insubstantial.
    • 1951, Robert Frost, Unpublished preface to a collection, 2007, Mark Richardson (editor), The Collected Prose of Robert Frost, page 169 ↗,
      The most diaphanous wings carry a burden of pollen from flower to flower.
    • 1963, Hermann Weyl, quoted in 1985, Floyd Merrell, Deconstruction Reframed, page 67 ↗,
      What is amazing is that "a concept that is created by mind itself, the sequence of integers, the simplest and most diaphanous thing for the constructive mind, assumes a similar aspect of obscurity and deficiency when viewed from the axiomatic angle" (Weyl, 1963, 220).
  3. (physics) Isorefractive, having an identical refractive index.
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