A Word A Day : Evanescent

Tuesday, 8th January 2008 : Today's Word is ...


( Adjective )

Pronunciation : èvve-néss'-nt

1. disappearing after only a short time and soon forgotten

2. tending to become imperceptible, scarcely perceptible

3. of short duration, passing away quickly

4. vanishing or likely to vanish like vapor


Middle English vanish - meaning disappear


brief, disappearing, fading, tenuous, vanishing, ephemeral, fleet, fleeting, fugacious, fugitive, momentary, passing, short-lived, temporal, temporary, transient, transitory


1. Elusive is used when what is being avoided is physical capture or apprehension, whereas evasive is used when what is being avoided is direct or relevant response to a verbal challenge

2. Illusory means based on or having the nature of an illusion. Elusive means difficult to describe or skillful at eluding capture


enduring, eternal, everlasting, lasting, long-lived, permanent

Contextual Examples:

• Noncooks think it's silly to invest two hours' work in two minutes' enjoyment. But if cooking is evanescent, so is the ballet. — Julia Child.

• In times of strong emotion mankind disdain all base considerations. But such times are evanescent.

• It is rather an alteration of perspective, a shifting of our sense of proportion, a vivid realization that we are insignificant and evanescent creatures, existing on sufferance and at the mercy of the first chill wind from the unknown.

Related Words:

evanescently: Adverb

evanescence: Noun

Enjoy this list and then get around for preparing your own list of words. There is no better way of boosting your words power. The most effective way to build your vocabulary is described in the page on Word Power. Educational research has discovered that your I.Q. is intimately related to your Word Power. Take a standard Vocabulary test and then an intelligent test, the result in both will be substantially the same. The more extensive your vocabulary, the better your chances of success, other things being equal- success in attaining your educational goals, success in moving ahead in your business or professional career, success in achieving your intellectual potential.

Previous Word| Next Word

Go to The A Word A Day Index

From Evanescent to HOME PAGE