Lu·​ci·​fer ˈlü-sə-fər How to pronounce Lucifer (audio)
used as a name of the devil
: the planet Venus when appearing as the morning star
not capitalized : a friction match having as active substances antimony sulfide and potassium chlorate
Luciferian adjective

Examples of Lucifer in a Sentence

Lucifer is depicted as a powerful but proud angel who leads a revolt against heaven.
Recent Examples on the Web Branscomb’s daughter, Chantal, is also performing in the play as the devil-in-chief, Lucifer, and is the lead singer for most of the songs in this year’s show. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, 28 Nov. 2023 The menacing maestro of pop, the Lucifer of the loop pedal, the acoustic animal himself made a surprise appearance at 50 Cent’s show in London Tuesday night, Nov. 21. Jon Blistein, Rolling Stone, 22 Nov. 2023 Henningsen, known for her role as Cady Heron in Broadway’s Mean Girls musical, will voice Charlie, the estranged daughter of Lucifer who wants to find a way to redeem sinners into Heaven through rehabilitation in the Hazbin Hotel. Abbey White, The Hollywood Reporter, 14 Oct. 2023 The Lucifer actress, 41, teamed up with designer Laetitia Wajnapel of Cinquieme Gauche to give her abode a proper facelift after years of living there. Natalia Senanayake, Peoplemag, 14 Sep. 2023 Do this as a double feature with Penny Dreadful (in which Dracula is Lucifer’s angel brother) to get all your heretical zoomies out before church. Vulture, 13 Aug. 2023 Birds of Big Bend National Park: Vermillion flycatcher, Colima warbler, Mexican jay, Lucifer hummingbird and Green kingfisher. Camille Fine, USA TODAY, 29 July 2023 Brayden was as destined for lacrosse as Lucifer was to fall, my freedom and savings the cost of that benighted destiny. Dennard Dayle, The New Yorker, 20 July 2023 On Twitter, Lucifer star D.B. Woodside addressed at length the financial stresses that actors currently face with having to relocate for a production while maintaining a primary residence in Los Angeles. Abbey White, The Hollywood Reporter, 19 July 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'Lucifer.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English, the morning star, a fallen rebel archangel, the Devil, from Old English, from Latin, the morning star, from lucifer light-bearing, from luc-, lux light + -fer -ferous — more at light

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of Lucifer was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near Lucifer

Cite this Entry

“Lucifer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


Lu·​ci·​fer ˈlü-sə-fər How to pronounce Lucifer (audio)

Old English Lucifer "the morning star, a fallen angel, the Devil," from Latin Lucifer "the morning star, bearer of light," derived from luc-, lux "light" and -fer "bearing"

Word Origin
What we sometimes call "the morning star" is really the planet Venus. The Romans called it Lucifer, meaning "bearer of light," because it appeared in the sky just before sunrise. So when, in the Old Testament, the prophet Isaiah says, in describing the downfall of the king of Babylon, "How are you fallen from heaven, O Morning Star, son of dawn," the "Morning Star" became Lucifer in the Latin translation. Early Christians thought that Isaiah was also referring to the devil, who had likewise "fallen from heaven." Thus the word Lucifer came to be applied to the devil.

More from Merriam-Webster on Lucifer

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!