Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
Word of the Day : October 8, 2012

illustrious

play
adjective ih-LUSS-tree-us

Definition

: notably or brilliantly outstanding because of dignity or achievements or actions : eminent

Examples

During the ceremony, the illustrious star of stage and screen was presented with a lifetime achievement award.

"Born in 1843 to a wealthy, intellectual Boston family, Marian (Clover) Hooper moved in the most illustrious circles of nineteenth-century America." - From a book review in the New Yorker, March 19, 2012.



Did You Know?

Illustrious people seem to light up everything around them. The etymology of "illustrious" makes it clear that a shining glow (both literal and figurative) has long been associated with the word. "Illustrious" ultimately derives from the Latin verb "lustrare," which means "to purify" or "to make bright," and which is related to the noun that gave us "luster." At one time, "illustrious" was used in the literal sense of "shining brightly with light," but that meaning is now considered archaic. The word is now almost exclusively used in its figurative application to describe something that stands out brilliantly, much like a bright star stands out in the sky.

Name That Synonym

Fill in the blanks to create a synonym of "illustrious": rdutb_e. The answer is ...


Podcast


More Words of the Day