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

This complex and convoluted shape means the object varies incredibly in brightness. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "This interstellar visitor was not an alien spacecraft, researchers say," 1 July 2019 Still, the warmth of Rodell Rosel’s tenor (as Prince Lilo-Taro) and the brightness of Nicholas Pulikowski’s tenor (as Captain Stone) helped, notwithstanding a bizarre script that reworked the original. Howard Reich,, "Reviews: Jazz Institute’s 50th; Grant Park Orchestra’s ‘Missa Solemnis’; ‘Flower of Hawaii’," 30 June 2019 There is also a fairly clear drop-off in brightness (sound intensity) in the higher frequency components of the spectrogram for both utterances. Jeff Kao And Jack Gillum, ProPublica, "Methodology: How We Tested an Aggression Detection Algorithm," 25 June 2019 With this in mind, Heller and his colleagues re-scanned the K2 data looking for potential planetary transits that began with a smooth dip in brightness. Nadia Drake, National Geographic, "18 Earth-size planets found in our galaxy—all hiding in plain sight," 28 May 2019 This creates a brightness hundreds of times greater than that of other galaxies. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "'Cold quasar' discovery could signal galaxies' 'retirement party' phase," 12 June 2019 The brightness on the wildflower photo was finally corrected. Urmila Ramakrishnan,, "We just wanted a save-the-date card with a hint of Bollywood. What could go wrong?," 7 June 2019 This lime-green color isn't normally in my makeup wheelhouse, but the brightness brings out the different colors of brown in my eyes and was a simple way to make my whole outfit pop. Asia Milia Ware, Teen Vogue, "6 Teen Vogue Editors Tried Fenty Beauty's New Vivid Eyeliner," 10 May 2019 Their surface temperatures range between 20,000 and 50,000 degrees Celsius, and their brightness means that many of the stars seen in the night sky are, in fact, blue supergiants. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Astronomers Finally Able to See Beneath Surface of Mysterious Blue Supergiants," 7 May 2019

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

6 Jul 2019

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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

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