bril·​liance | \ ˈbril-yən(t)s How to pronounce brilliance (audio) \

Definition of brilliance

: the quality or state of being brilliant

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Examples of brilliance in a Sentence

The professor was known for his brilliance. the brilliance of a diamond
Recent Examples on the Web There were flashes of brilliance, like July 2017, when Ball and Zion Williamson took the floor on opposing teams at the Adidas Uprising AAU tournament in Las Vegas. Josh Peter, USA TODAY, "How LaMelo Ball went from misunderstood to can't-miss NBA draft pick," 17 Nov. 2020 An aging player who has moments of brilliance sprinkled less and less frequently among inconsistent play that has become too common. Carlos Monarrez, Detroit Free Press, "Struggling Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford is a shadow of the player he was," 15 Nov. 2020 Yet the brilliance of Cartoon Saloon’s storytelling is that the viewer always understands where each character is coming from, which makes their various conflicts even more painful. Christian Holub,, "Wolfwalkers is a refreshing animated fantasy that calls for change: Review," 13 Nov. 2020 We are left with the brilliance of Cary Grant’s performances in his best movies, which all the details of his personal life do not ultimately diminish. Joseph Epstein, WSJ, "‘Cary Grant: A Brilliant Disguise’ Review: The Enigma of Charisma," 16 Oct. 2020 Cyrus isn’t afraid to take risks with her music—which has led to both moments of brilliance and a few missteps. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Ranking Miley Cyrus’s 10 Best (and Worst) Songs," 16 Oct. 2020 Swift has also worked his magic to produce a novel fueled by, and consequently alive with, creative brilliance and emotional intensity. Malcolm Forbes Special To The Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "REVIEW: 'Here We Are,' by Graham Swift," 18 Sep. 2020 His brilliance manifested in ways that show up easily in a box score and others that require more examination, coming together in a rare mix of power, speed and elite athleticism. Jared Diamond, WSJ, "Mookie Betts Powers Dodgers to Victory in Game 1 of the World Series," 21 Oct. 2020 However, Mars is brightening by the day, and by late September, will match Jupiter in brilliance. Paul Douglas, Star Tribune, "Warm Sunday, Followed By Record Cold Highs Tuesday & Wednesday," 5 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'brilliance.' 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 brilliance

1748, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for brilliance

Time Traveler

The first known use of brilliance was in 1748

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Statistics for brilliance

Last Updated

22 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Brilliance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for brilliance


How to pronounce brilliance (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of brilliance

: the quality or state of being brilliant


bril·​liance | \ ˈbril-yəns How to pronounce brilliance (audio) \

Kids Definition of brilliance

: great brightness

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