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

But at the center of the action are real lives and real talents, whose brilliance makes for a great show—for their contemporaries, first, and for cameras only sometimes. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Pose and the Uncapturable Brilliance of the Ballroom," 7 June 2018 On this critic's list of 20 unforgettable concerts in 20 years, transcendent moments and overall brilliance translate into staying power. David Lindquist, Indianapolis Star, "Lindquist: 20 unforgettable nights across 20 years of writing about Indianapolis concerts," 4 May 2018 There is nothing to match the brilliance of the costumes, the floats, the humor, the drama, and the almost otherworldly celebration of this country’s vibrant diversity. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, "Hamish Bowles Sambas His Way Through Rio de Janeiro’s Carnaval," 22 Mar. 2019 Jordan Bell will get his time but too often looks lost out there, and Damian Jones, for all of his recent flashes of brilliance, is awfully raw to be thrown into win-or-else situations. Bruce Jenkins, San Francisco Chronicle, "Warriors in search of that familiar spark — and a center," 11 Apr. 2018 But the slow time was certainly no reflection on Justify's brilliance. Jeff Duncan,, "Lone Sailor might take another crack at Justify after troubled Kentucky Derby 2018," 5 May 2018 For all the focus on Taymor’s visual brilliance, colleagues also describe her as very much an actors’ director. Elysa Gardner, Town & Country, "​The Lion King's Julie Taymor Opens Up About Her Success, Her Mistakes, and Being a Woman in Theater," 20 Oct. 2017 Wyndham attributes Tenner’s dull appearance to the old style of diamond cutting, that focused on saving more of the weight and less on brilliance. Jenna Milliner-waddell, ELLE Decor, "A UK Woman Made Over $800,000 On A Ring She Thought Was Costume Jewelry," 8 June 2017 Vine's brilliance—short looping videos that lend themselves to playful tomfoolery and significantly less so to fake news, harassment, or the dreaded 'discourse'—was in its simplicity. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "The Only Good Part of the Internet Is Coming Back," 8 Nov. 2018

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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Statistics for brilliance

Last Updated

16 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for brilliance

The first known use of brilliance was in 1748

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More Definitions for brilliance



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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Comments on brilliance

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


marked by a state of overwhelming emotion

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