The Meaning of Transparent: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of transparent? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word transparent, including its definition, etymology, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word transparent mean?

According to Collins English Dictionary and the American Heritage Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, the word transparent is an adjective that means clear, or able to be seen through. This term can be used literally or figuratively to refer to the passage of light rays, when light passes through an object like mesh or clear plastic. Transparent can also be used figuratively to mean easily understood or comprehended. Transparent is three syllables – trans-par-ent, and the pronunciation of transparent is trænspɛər-ənt. The suffixes ly and cy can be added to the end of transparent to manifest the related word forms transparently (adv.) and transparency (n.)

Many things can be transparent and have rays of light pass through them depending on light frequencies, or be easily understood. Someone can be transparent about their public scrutiny, have transparent excuses, a transparent lie, transparent eaters of the lake, a transparent explanation, transparent chiffon, transparent crystal, the transparent bottom of the limpid pool, the transparent gauzy clouds of dandelion, transparent lucid air, transparent vaporous silks, a transparent diaphanous veil, a transparent pellucid brook, the transparent filmy wings of a moth, transparent gossamer cobwebs, transparent cold crystalline water, transparent sheer silk stockings, transparent perspectives, a transparent attempt at honesty of Facebook and Twitter, transparent gauze, transparent self-evident insights of residents, and more. The first definition and second definition are both valid.

Many different languages also contain words that mean transparent. You may notice that many of these words look similar to the English translation of the English word meaning transparent. These are called cognates, which are words that look, sound, and mean similar things across different languages. These are often formed when two words or languages share a common origin or ancestral language, such as Latin or Greek. This list of translations of transparent is provided by Word Sense.

  •  Portuguese: transparente‎
  •  Lojban: klina‎
  •  Hebrew: שקוף‎ (shaqúf)
  •  Marathi: पारदर्शक‎, पारदर्शी‎, स्वच्छ‎, शुद्ध‎
  •  Georgian: გამჭვირვალე‎
  •  Mandarin: 透明‎ (tòumíng)
  •  Asturian: tresparente‎
  •  Hungarian: átlátszó‎
  •  German: durchsichtig‎, transparent‎
  •  Danish: transparent‎, gennemsigtig‎, klar‎
  •  Latvian: caurspīdīgs‎, caurredzams‎, transparents‎
  •  Japanese: 透明‎ (とうめい, tōmē)
  •  Finnish: läpinäkyvä‎
  •  Norman: transpathent‎
  •  Malay: lutsinar‎
  •  Spanish: transparente‎
  •  French: transparent‎
  •  Slovene: prozoren‎
  •  Gujarati: પારદર્શક‎
  •  Volapük: dulogamovik‎
  •  Hindi: पारदर्शक‎, पारदर्शी‎, स्वच्छ‎, शुद्ध‎
  •  Occitan: transparent‎
  •  Russian: прозра́чный‎
  •  Albanian: tejdukshëm‎
  •  Irish: gléineach‎, trédhearcach‎
  •  Galician: transparente‎
  •  Catalan: transparent‎
  •  Norwegian: gjennomsiktig‎, transparent‎
  •  Indonesian: tembus pandang‎, bening‎
  •  Swedish: transparent‎, genomskinlig‎
  •  Icelandic: gagnsær‎, gegnsær‎
  •  Polish: przezroczysty‎, przejrzysty‎
  •  Greek: διαφανής‎
  •  Armenian: թափանցիկ‎
  •  Czech: průhledný‎ (masc.)
  •  Esperanto: travidebla‎
  •  Dutch: doorzichtig‎, transparant‎
  •  Korean: 들여다보이다‎ (deul’yeodaboida)
  •  Maori: puata‎
  •  Scottish Gaelic: trìd-shoilleir‎, so-lèirsinneach‎
  •  Romanian: transparent‎ (masc.) (n), străveziu‎
  •  Italian: trasparente‎

What is the word origin of transparent?

According to Etymonline, the word transparent (trænˈspærənt) has been used since Late Middle English and comes from the Old French. It also stems from the Medieval Latin trānspārent which is the stem of trānspārēns/transpārens meaning “showing through.” This is the present participle of trānspārēre, present participle of transparere or present participle of transpāreō, and is equivalent to Latin trāns or trans and pārent, the stem of pārēns and present participle of pārēre. The Latin pārēre/parere means “to appear.”

What are synonyms and antonyms of transparent?

There are a vast collection of words that can be used in place of the word transparent. These are known as synonyms in natural sounding English. Synonyms are words and phrases that have the same meaning as another word or phrase. Synonyms are useful to know if you are trying to grow your vocabulary as well as if you are trying to avoid repeating yourself. This list of synonyms for the word transparent is provided by Power Thesaurus

  •  explicit
  •  overt
  •  crystalline
  •  crystal-clear
  •  hyaloid
  •  limpid
  •  noticeable
  •  blatant
  •  lightweight
  •  apparent
  •  sheer
  •  luminous
  •  fine
  •  gauze-like
  •  filmy
  •  guileless
  •  pellucid
  •  pure
  •  candid
  •  achromatic
  •  broad
  •  openly
  •  honest
  •  genuine
  •  glassy
  •  perspicuous
  •  thin
  •  undisguised
  •  clarity
  •  glaring
  •  gauzy
  •  luculent
  •  straightforward
  •  vitreous
  •  unambiguous
  •  open
  •  indisputable
  •  comprehensible
  •  clear-cut
  •  crystal clear
  •  unclouded
  •  unmistakable
  •  straight
  •  insubstantial
  •  cloudless
  •  diaphanous
  •  clear
  •  uncoloured
  •  flagrant
  •  vaporous
  •  perceptible
  •  see through
  •  bleached
  •  discernible
  •  clear cut
  •  frank
  •  clearer
  •  light
  •  transparency
  •  definite
  •  obvious
  •  articulate
  •  plain
  •  evident
  •  downright
  •  intelligible
  •  hyaline
  •  gossamery
  •  tangible
  •  visible
  •  barefaced
  •  lay it on the line
  •  patent
  •  unconcealed
  •  unequivocal
  •  conspicuous
  •  bare-faced
  •  understandable
  •  observable
  •  translucent
  •  lucent
  •  bright
  •  crystal
  •  manifest
  •  lucid
  •  delicate
  •  self-evident
  •  simple
  •  flimsy
  •  see-through
  •  coherent
  •  cobwebby
  •  transpicuous
  •  big as life
  •  ingenuous
  •  distinct
  •  direct
  •  palpable
  •  recognizable
  •  gossamer

There are also many different words that mean the opposite of the word transparent. These opposite words are called antonyms. Antonyms are also useful to know if you are trying to improve your vocabulary. This list of antonyms for the word transparent is also provided by Power Thesaurus

  •  open to dispute
  •  affected
  •  unapparent
  •  solid
  •  dull
  •  opaque
  •  incoherent
  •  indecipherable
  •  equivocal
  •  diplomatic
  •  designing
  •  answerable
  •  academical
  •  hazy
  •  thick
  •  cryptic
  •  hidden
  •  ambiguous
  •  unclear
  •  gloomy
  •  hard to comprehend
  •  bewildering
  •  impenetrable
  •  incomprehensible
  •  difficult to understand
  •  arcane
  •  difficult to comprehend
  •  inexact
  •  indistinct
  •  obscure
  •  indefinite
  •  illegible
  •  furtive
  •  hard to understand
  •  dark
  •  inscrutable
  •  sly
  •  muddy
  •  colored
  •  cloudy
  •  abstruse
  •  adopted
  •  imprecise
  •  indiscernible
  •  deep
  •  questionable
  •  academic
  •  vague
  •  mysterious
  •  swarthy

How can the word transparent be used in a sentence?

Using a word in a sentence is a great way to learn its definition. You could also try making flashcards or a quiz to test your knowledge of new lingo and new words. Try using this word of the day in a sentence today! Below are several different examples of using the word transparent in a sentence to help get you started.

Guile affixed the fine texture dresser with transparent hardware for a cool, funky look. The transparent material was made out of a type of plastic.

The visible light from the crystal clear skies passed through the transparent waters of the lake. 

There was a lack of subtlety in his transparent news report on language news and daily word facts. He discussed the etymology of photons. 

Overall, the word transparent (trăns-pâr-ent) means able to see through. It can also mean comprehensible.


  1. Transparent synonyms – 883 Words and Phrases for Transparent | Power Thesaurus 
  2. transparent: meaning, origin, translation | Word Sense
  3. Transparent antonyms – 523 Opposites of Transparent | Power Thesaurus 
  4. transparent | Origin and meaning of transparent | Online Etymology Dictionary