bright·​ness | \ ˈbrīt-nəs How to pronounce brightness (audio) \

Definition of brightness

1a : the quality or state of being bright also : an instance of such a quality or state
2 : the attribute of light-source colors by which emitted light is ordered continuously from light to dark in correlation with its intensity — compare hue sense 2c, lightness entry 1 sense 2, saturation sense 4

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Examples of brightness in a Sentence

the brightness of the sunshine made me squint after an afternoon spent in a darkened movie theater
Recent Examples on the Web Astronomers then compare the brightness of these standard candles with that of fainter ones in nearby galaxies to deduce their distances. Quanta Magazine, "Astronomers Get Their Wish, and a Cosmic Crisis Gets Worse," 17 Dec. 2020 One fix is to crank up the brightness on your tablet, bring it close to your subject, and expose for that light. Travel, "Want to take better photos? Here’s how to practice at home," 16 Dec. 2020 Adjust the screen’s brightness and contrast for comfort, and find a chair with arm rests that allows your child to sit with knees at a 90-degree bend and feet flat on the floor. Washington Post Staff, Washington Post, "As stay-at-home restrictions rise, here are ways to cope," 2 Dec. 2020 Equally valuable, this headlamp delivers on brightness, duration, and flexibility. Popular Science, "These well-rated triple headlamps are great gifts for adventurers," 1 Dec. 2020 Conway made sure to include pairs that were the same hue, meaning their wavelengths would be perceived as the same color by the eye’s photoceptors, but had different luminance, or brightness, levels, which changes how people perceive them. Sara Harrison, Wired, "A New Study About Color Tries to Decode ‘The Brain’s Pantone’," 24 Nov. 2020 But there’s more brightness than there is dimness now with regard to what Brandon can do. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "'Recounting' Franz Wagner's height and 4 other nuggets from Michigan basketball's Phil Martelli," 20 Nov. 2020 The function keys have new shortcuts as well: brightness, expose, spotlight, dictation and do not disturb are new. Jacob Krol, CNN Underscored, "The new Silicon-powered MacBook Air sets a new standard for Apple laptops," 17 Nov. 2020 With local dimming for deep blacks, a high peak brightness to make those highlights pop, and quantum dot tech for stunning colors, Netflix will look better than ever before. Whitson Gordon, NBC News, "Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision: A guide to Dolby in your home," 9 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'brightness.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of brightness

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

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Time Traveler for brightness

Time Traveler

The first known use of brightness was before the 12th century

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Statistics for brightness

Last Updated

11 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Brightness.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for brightness


bright·​ness | \ ˈbrīt-nəs How to pronounce brightness (audio) \

Medical Definition of brightness

: the one of the three psychological dimensions of color perception by which visual stimuli are ordered continuously from light to dark and which is correlated with light intensity — compare hue, saturation sense 4a

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