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A tranparent glass with transparent water in it

In optics, transparency is the property of allowing light to pass through something.

An object that is transparent can be seen through. That is, what is on the other side of the object can be seen through it. The image you can see through a transparent object is similar to the image you can see without it. It may be changed if the transparent object behaves like a lens. This could change the size or shape of the image.

Therefore, when someone says that an organization and its action should be "transparent", it is not the right use of the term. What they actually mean is that these things should be more "visible".

Translucent containers

The opposite of transparency is opacity.


If some light can be seen through an object but some of the detail of the image is lost, it is a translucent material.

Light passes through a translucent object, but you cannot see objects behind it. The light passes through but the material scatters the light, so you cannot see the object, only its shadow.

Examples of translucent materials are frosted glass, paper, and some types of amber.