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 (1838), originally in science, is perhaps a back-formation.