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What is the definition of "evanescent"?

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Quick Answer

The word "evanescent" is an adjective that means vanishing, fading away or fleeting. Another similar definition of "evanescent" is to become imperceptible or scarcely perceptible. Some synonyms include "transient," "brief," "disappearing," "momentary" and "temporary."

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Full Answer

The word "evanescent" entered the English language in 1717 from the French word "évanescent." It originates from the Latin word "evanescentem," which is the present participle form of "evanescere." In Latin, "evanescere" is a combination of the prefix "ex-" and "vanescere." "Ex-" means out, and "vanescere" means vanish. Thus, "evanescere" means vanishing out of existence, disappearing or passing away. In more figurative terms, it means to be forgotten or be wasted.

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