incandescent (adj.) Look up incandescent at
1794, from French incandescent (18c.) or directly from Latin incandescentem (nominative incandescens), present participle of incandescere "become warm, glow, kindle," from in- "within" (see in- (2)) + candescere "begin to glow, become white," inceptive of candere "to glow, to shine" (see candle). In reference to electric light, from 1881. The verb incandesce (1874) is perhaps a back-formation.