-escent suffix repr. F. -escent and its source L. -ēscēns, -ēscent-, prp. ending of vbs. in -ēscere, chiefly inceptives f. vbs. of state in -ēre, e.g. liquēscere, f. liquēre be LIQUID; primarily occurring in adjs. — L. prps. (orig. through F.), as deliquescent, effervescent, obsolescent, the gen. sense being ‘beginning to assume a certain state’; also used in several words describing the play of light and colour, as fluorescent, iridescent, opalescent, phosphorescent. The corr. sb. suffix is -escence, less freq. -escency.
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