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
b : luminance
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

As an example of dark mode coming to your battery’s rescue, just look at the huge difference below, where the Pixel is set to 100 percent brightness. Chris Welch, The Verge, "Google confirms dark mode is a huge help for battery life on Android," 8 Nov. 2018 Before lipstick, trace your Cupid’s bow with a light shade of foundation to create a brightness that makes lips look naturally fuller and crisper. Kat Suico, Allure, "The 25 Best Lipstick Tips and Tricks We’ve Ever Heard from Professional Makeup Artists," 14 Aug. 2018 Anand Bhatt, who wasn’t with the show in Westport, brings a brightness and energy to the proceedings as the loyal guard Dar, starting with his first energetic lines at the outset of the drama. Christopher Arnott,, ""Invisible Hand" Has Fresh Urgency At TheaterWorks," 1 June 2018 The end result is downright addictive: the bass note from the nutty tahini mingles with that sweetness, with a kick of heat from the Sriracha and a welcome brightness from the white vinegar. Christina Chaey, Bon Appetit, "Homemade Hoisin Sauce Is the King of Condiments," 19 Feb. 2018 Fresh cilantro and lemon juice bring a brightness to the warm brown butter. Melissa Clark, Country Living, "Brown Butter Cucumbers," 12 May 2010 Floor to ceiling windows in the Desert Nomad House let in the brightness of the desert during the day. Alexandra Wolfe, WSJ, "High Design in the Desert," 2 Nov. 2018 For her newest take on color, Cardi B toned down the brightness, instead choosing softer pastel shades that included pink, purple, blue, and yellow. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Cardi B Debuted a Rainbow Wig," 31 Aug. 2018 Turn the lights off, and dial up the brightness of your screen. Verge Staff, The Verge, "Seven scary stories to tell by the light of your screen," 31 Oct. 2018

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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Last Updated

2 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for brightness

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

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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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Comments on brightness

What made you want to look up brightness? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


grandiloquent, ostentatious, or bombastic

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