Simple Definition of luminary
: a very famous or successful person
Full Definition of luminaryplural
1 : a person of prominence or brilliant achievement
2 : a body that gives light; especially : one of the celestial bodies
Examples of luminary in a sentence
luminaries of the art world
<awed by the vast number of luminaries in the night sky>
Did You Know?
Allow us to shed some light on "luminary." It came to English by way of Anglo-French and Late Latin, and it traces back to the Latin word lumen, meaning "light." Other "lumen" descendants in English include "illuminate" (to light up), "luminous" (emitting light) and "phillumenist" (one who collects matchbooks or matchbox labels). "Luminary" has been shining its light in English since the 15th century.
Origin and Etymology of luminary
Middle English luminarye, from Anglo-French & Late Latin; Anglo-French luminaire light, luminary, from Late Latin luminaria, plural of luminare lamp, heavenly body, from Latin, window, from lumin-, lumen light; akin to Latin lucēre to shine — more at light
First Known Use: 15th century
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up luminary? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).