early 15c., from Medieval Latin transparentem (nominative transparens), present participle of transparere "show light through," from Latin trans "across, beyond; through" (see trans-) + parere "come in sight, appear; submit, obey" (see appear). Figurative sense of "easily seen through" is first attested 1590s. The attempt to back-form a verb transpare (c. 1600) died with the 17c. Related: Transparently.
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