To make something opaque is to 'opaquen'?

How about to make something transparent? Is it 'transparentize'?

Edit 1 This is for a computer code library that manipulates colors. I have verbs to describe the actions like Brighten and Saturate, but I also want to find a nice words to describe making something more or less opaque.


6 Answers 6


There's opacify:

to cause to become opaque.

It sounds a bit awkward/made up, but the meaning is unambiguous.

Make transparent is more difficult. Clarify could work in certain limited contexts, but not in yours, I think. Unfortunately, I think a multi-word construction such as SetTransparency is your only choice here.

  • I think opacify is a good option, I wish I had thought of that one. It's programming: nobody cares if it's a real or conventional word, as long as it is reasonably concise and its meaning is clear. Mar 3, 2011 at 17:31
  • 5
    I hope we can opacify the oinsurgents without offending the opacifists.
    – chaos
    Mar 3, 2011 at 17:33
  • @ShreevatsaR: ooffending, actually. :P
    – Jon Purdy
    Mar 3, 2011 at 20:30
  • de-opacify? Is it the reverse of opacification?
    – GEdgar
    Aug 6, 2012 at 21:04
  • The OED also attest opacate, as in this citation: 1890 H. Frederic Lawton Girl 20 ― Eyes··dimmed and opacated by the effects of dissipation.
    – tchrist
    Aug 7, 2012 at 0:27

Translucent is between opaque and transparent, so... Translucify?

(As a bonus, it sounds bad-ass, like an album from a band called Translucifer!)

  • Translucence is another property aside from opacity, it has a dispersion component.Or, hold it. Opacity is a combination of transmittance and dispersion. Still not the same things. Jul 17, 2011 at 0:55
  • Love "translucify" - I need just this word right now and nothing like it exists... If I weren't writing in the voice of an 8-year-old I would use it right now...
    – user24533
    Aug 6, 2012 at 17:35

Opaquen is not a word. According to the Random House Dictionary, opaque is an acceptable word as an adjective, a noun (i.e. something that is opaque), or as a verb (i.e. to cause to be opaque).

However, people reading your code (undrestandably) might not realize that you are using opaque as a verb, so it probably is not the best option. I would reccommend SetOpacity.

  • SetOpacity would work if I was actually setting the opacity. This code changes the opacity by an amount (like a percent). I more or less move the opacity towards a certain direction (either totaly transparent or totaly opaque), so I am going with MoreOpaque and LessOpaque despite my dislike to this. Mar 3, 2011 at 17:22
  • 1
    How about ChangeOpacity? Mar 3, 2011 at 17:24

I don't know of any verbs for your uses of to make something xxx. If there are any, they will likely not be known to your average audience, so it's best to stick with the to make form for the sake of clarity.

  • Thats the problem when you are trying to use common language for programming. I don't want to write a MakeColorMoreOpaque(amount) function, but a Opaquen(amount) function. Mar 3, 2011 at 16:50
  • How about IncreaseOpacity? Mar 3, 2011 at 16:51
  • IncreaseOpacity only works if you are always wanting to increase it. A better name would be SetOpacity. Mar 3, 2011 at 17:03

I've never seen opaquen used; in its place, I've simply seen opaque verbed. For the inverse operation I've seen deopaque.

  • This is probably because the -en suffix is usually used with monosyllabic stems.
    – Kosmonaut
    Mar 3, 2011 at 16:49
  • I've seen opaque as a verb also, but it is not recognized as a verb by all dictionaries (not by Merriam Webster, at least) Mar 3, 2011 at 16:50
  • @Kosmonaut, more specifically, -en is subject to the phonosemantic constraint that it can only be used to derive verbs from monosyllabic adjectives that end in an obstruent. Nov 7, 2013 at 12:48
  • @JanusBahsJacquet: I'm not really seeing where semantics enters into it; I would characterize it as a morphophonological constraint. Also, note that there is at least one exception (that I can think of) to requirement that it be monosyllabic in awaken.
    – Kosmonaut
    Nov 9, 2013 at 1:26
  • I suppose you can call it that—the semantic bit was the word class restraint. Is it morphology or semantics that decide whether ‘black’ is a noun or an adjective, for example? ‘Awaken’ is not an example of the productive suffix -en, but a merger of several Old English verbs (some of which contain the suffix, and some not), and its ultimate base is still a monosyllabic adjective, only with a preverb before it; similarly, ‘unblacken’ also works okay. Nov 9, 2013 at 14:07

It depends on what you are making opaque.

Some words that can be used include: obfuscate, solidify, cloud, darken, muddle, and confuse.

Antonyms include: evanesce, clarify, purify, and lighten.

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