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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Invisibility \In*vis`i*bil"i*ty\, n.; pl. Invisibilities. [L. invisibilitas: cf. F. invisibilit['e].] The state or quality of being invisible; also, that which is invisible. ``Atoms and invisibilities.''

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1560s, from Late Latin invisibilitas, from invisibilis (see invisible).


n. 1 The state of being invisible. 2 That which is invisible.


n. the quality of not being perceivable by the eye [syn: invisibleness] [ant: visibility]


Invisibility is the state of an object that cannot be seen. An object in this state is said to be invisible (literally, "not visible"). The term is often used in fantasy/ science fiction, where objects cannot be seen by magical or technological means; however, its effects can also be demonstrated in the real world, particularly in physics and perceptual psychology classes.

Since objects can be seen by light in the visible spectrum from a source reflecting off their surfaces and hitting the viewer's eye, the most natural form of invisibility (whether real or fictional) is an object that neither reflects nor absorbs light (that is, it allows light to pass through it). This is known as transparency, and is seen in many naturally occurring materials (although no naturally occurring material is 100% transparent).

Invisibility perception depends on several optical and visual factors. For example, invisibility depends on the eyes of the observer and/or the instruments used. Thus an object can be classified as "invisible to" a person, animal, instrument, etc. In research on sensorial perception it has been shown that invisibility is perceived in cycles.

Invisibility is often considered to be the supreme form of camouflage, as it does not reveal to the viewer any kind of vital signs, visual effects, or any frequencies of the electromagnetic spectrum detectable to the human eye, instead making use of radio, infrared or ultraviolet wavelengths.

In illusion optics, invisibility is a special case of illusion effects: the illusion of free space.

Usage examples of "invisibility".

They also maneuvered in relation to unknown contacts, because invisibility was the price of their mission.

Apparently Atropos had exempted the Fates from her spell of invisibility.

On their bellies these drones displayed a vision of the sky above, captured by microcameras on their backs, in that way achieving an operational sort of invisibility, and allowing the tele-pilots to hover and record unseen.

Meanwhile, the catmen, with Dry Towner allies, have begun a war with local natives, using invisibility and a permanent cloud cover obscuring sunlight, to institute a reign of terror.

Sneako-scopes, some parchment and quills, and what looked like a silvery Invisibility Cloak.

Invisibility at ranges as low as eleven light-seconds, Mister Taliaferro.

As she turned to walk away, Taku came shimmering out of invisibility in front of her.

I want communication crystals, phials of shape changers, wizard wands, materialization and transformation materials, elixirs of malignant nature, and invisibility cloaks.

It gave me the sort of invisibility that the firm had found worked best: kidnappers always knew everything about a household they had attacked, and a newcomer too officiously visiting alarmed them.

She diverted one of the sensors from its focus on the wormhole, dimming the dark purple display to near invisibility.

It was therefore a full week later – once they had surreptitiously obtained hairs from innocent Muggles who were Christmas shopping, and had practiced Apparating and Disapparating while underneath the Invisibility Cloak together – that Hermione agreed to make the journey.

They hear voices ahead, then are suddenly zooming out of Invisibility, in among the Axmen, who, believing them pitiless crazy predators in this place lonely as any in Ulster or the Rhineland, scatter for their Lives back into the Trees.

The reorganized TF 21 - sixteen fast superdreadnoughts, twenty battlecruisers, and ten fleet carriers - lay motionless, wrapped in the invisibility of their ECM.

The sky overhead had gone from a sharp-edged midday blue to the softer, blurrier colors of twilight, but the invisibility that had protected them during the flight still seemed to be working.

He scram­bled through the portrait hole while they were still arguing about how many black-market Butterbeers they would need and was climbing back out of it, the Invisibility Cloak and Sirius's knife secure in his bag, before they noticed he had left them.