Saturday, June 25, 2011

scintillation



scintillation [ˌsɪntlˈeɪʃən] n.

1.) The action of scintillating; emission of sparks or spark-like flashes of light.
2.) An instance of this; a flash, a spark.
3.) The twinkling or tremulous motion of the light of the fixed stars.
4.) The flashing of the eyes.
5.) Nucl. Physics. A small flash of visible or ultraviolet light emitted by fluorescence in a phosphor when it is struck by a charged particle or high-energy photon.
6.) fig. A flash, a brilliant display (of wit, of thought) (O.E.D. 2nd Ed.).

Etymology: Latin scintillare, scintillat-, from scintilla, spark.

"He had made a new system in making a staff, a world with full and fair proportions; in which, though the old cities and dynasties had passed away, fairer and more glorious ones had taken their places. And now he saw by the heap of shavings still fresh at his feet, that, for him and his work, the former lapse of time had been an illusion, and that no more time had elapsed than is required for a single scintillation from the brain of Brahma to fall on and inflame the tinder of a mortal brain. The material was pure, and his art was pure; how could the result be other than wonderful?" (Walden, Henry David Thoreau, 1854).

(Het Meisje met de Parel, Johannes Vermeer, ~1665)

12 comments:

Natasha said...

I love the first definition and thank you, I'll go and find out about getting one. xxx

JayJay said...

Dare I say what a scintillating post? I had to, plus I love this word.

Henry said...

I am on quite a roll with your blog lately! I use this word all the time saying, "I love scintillating conversation."

braumaman said...

Girl with the Pearl Earring is legendary.

Jose Cuer said...

Oh wow, a word I actually know - I am excited! =)

Salted Plum said...

Oh I like that you gave the Dutch title to the painting.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

I use "scintillating" all the time. "Scintillation," never.

D4 said...

This is one I wouldn't have been able to guess. I won't forget it though.

Intraman said...

great word!

Fang said...

"Het Meisje met de Parel" is indeed Dutch for "The Girl with the Pearl"
DUTCH WHEN YOU LEAST EXPECT IT

dressingup-everyday said...

Such a beaufiful word, in Spanish "centelleo" is commonly use.Love this picture.:)

miet said...

I learn more words here everyday!

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