Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


a. Flickering lightly: lambent firelight.
b. Having a gentle glow; luminous: "A lambent moon cast shadows on crumbling walls" (Stephen Benz). See Synonyms at bright.
2. Light or brilliant: lambent wit.

[Latin lambēns, lambent-, present participle of lambere, to lick.]

lam′ben·cy n.
lam′bent·ly adv.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. (esp of a flame) flickering softly over a surface
2. glowing with soft radiance
3. (of wit or humour) light or brilliant
[C17: from the present participle of Latin lambere to lick]
ˈlambency n
ˈlambently adv
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈlæm bənt)

1. running or moving lightly over a surface: lambent tongues of flame.
2. dealing lightly and gracefully with a subject: lambent wit.
3. softly bright or radiant: a lambent light.
[1640–50; < Latin lambent-, s. of lambēns, present participle of lambere to lick, (of water or fire) wash, play upon; akin to lap3]
lam`bent•ly, adv.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.lambent - softly bright or radiantlambent - softly bright or radiant; "a house aglow with lights"; "glowing embers"; "lambent tongues of flame"; "the lucent moon"; "a sky luminous with stars"
bright - emitting or reflecting light readily or in large amounts; "the sun was bright and hot"; "a bright sunlit room"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


Giving off or reflecting light readily or in large amounts:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
It is there that I, intent on my own investigations, have passed and re-passed a hundred times the worn leonine face, white as the snow beneath him, furrowed with wrinkles like the seams and gashes upon the North Cape; the nervous hand, integrally a part of the mechanism of his flighter; and above all, the wonderful lambent eyes turned to the zenith.
I found this out later, when I attempted other German authors without the glitter of his wit or the lambent glow of his fancy to light me on my hard way.
Lady Ruth lifted her eyes to his, and their lambent fires were suddenly rekindled.
She constructed a little romance which was to vary the flatness of her life: Will Ladislaw was always to be a bachelor and live near her, always to be at her command, and have an understood though never fully expressed passion for her, which would be sending out lambent flames every now and then in interesting scenes.
It was impossible to foretell in what exquisite verse the awakening spell might lurk; but, on raising her eyes from the page to Clifford's face, Phoebe would be made aware, by the light breaking through it, that a more delicate intelligence than her own had caught a lambent flame from what she read.
That incident stopped the burglaries for a time, and the guards were reduced accordingly, and the regiment devoted itself to polo with unexpected results; for it beat by two goals to one that very terrible polo corps the Lushkar Light Horse, though the latter had four ponies apiece for a short hour's fight, as well as a native officer who played like a lambent flame across the ground.
At the slightest impact of the outside world upon his consciousness, his thoughts, sympathies, and emotions leapt and played like lambent flame.
There were occasions when in looking at him she was involuntarily moved to shake her head, as who would say, 'Alas, poor Yorick!' After allowing herself to be betrayed into these evidences of emotion, she would force a lambent brightness, and would be fitfully cheerful, and would say, 'You have still good spirits, sir, I am thankful to find;' and would appear to hail it as a blessed dispensation that Mr.
There he was in his own evergreen reality, with the copious flow of language pouring smoothly from his lips; with the lambent dash of humor twinkling in his party-colored eyes -- there he was, more audacious, more persuasive, more respectable than ever, in a suit of glossy black, with a speckless white cravat, and a rampant shirt frill -- the unblushing, the invincible, unchangeable Wragge!
Just the same, it's hard to look away from the lambent lure of the gothic world inhabited by Luis, upon whose perspective the movie plays out.
And the two drive on, first to the Midwest and then to the Deep South: Driving Miss Daisy without the lambent charm and poignancy of that film with Jessica Tandy and Morgan Freeman.
Written in lambent prose and ambitious in scope, An Orchestra of Minorities is no fairy tale, but rather a tragic masterpiece.