Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
1. Sufficiently thin or airy as to be translucent: a diaphanous gown; diaphanous gauze.
2. Of such fine composition as to be easily damaged or broken; delicate: diaphanous butterfly wings.
[From Medieval Latin diaphanus, transparent, from Greek diaphanēs, from diaphainein, to be transparent : dia-, dia- + phainein, phan-, to show; see bhā- in Indo-European roots.]
di′a·pha·ne′i·ty (dī′ə-fə-nē′ĭ-tē), di·aph′a·nous·ness n.
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.