brilliant

adjective
bril·liant | \ˈbril-yənt \

Definition of brilliant 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : very bright : glittering a brilliant light

2a : striking, distinctive a brilliant example

b : distinguished by unusual mental keenness or alertness brilliant scientists

3 British : very good : excellent

brilliant

noun

Definition of brilliant (Entry 2 of 2)

: a gem (such as a diamond) cut in a particular form with numerous facets so as to have special brightness or brilliance

Illustration of brilliant

Illustration of brilliant

Noun

brilliant, top and side view: 1 table, 2 bezel, 3 girdle, 4 pavilion, 5 culet

In the meaning defined above

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Other Words from brilliant

Adjective

brilliantly adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for brilliant

Adjective

bright, brilliant, radiant, luminous, lustrous mean shining or glowing with light. bright implies emitting or reflecting a high degree of light. brilliant implies intense often sparkling brightness. radiant stresses the emission or seeming emission of rays of light. luminous implies emission of steady, suffused, glowing light by reflection or in surrounding darkness. lustrous stresses an even, rich light from a surface that reflects brightly without glittering.

Examples of brilliant in a Sentence

Adjective

a brilliant star in the sky a store decorated in brilliant colors He pitched a brilliant game. She gave a brilliant performance. She has a brilliant mind.

Noun

the diamond cutter set out an array of brilliants to show the various ways the diamond could be cut
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Description: Sandra Oh plays a bored MI5 desk jockey who stumbles into investigating a brilliant, soulless assassin (Jodie Comer). Trenesha N Striggles, azcentral, "Here's the shows you should binge-watch while it's hot outside," 27 June 2018 Shohei Ohtani, the Japanese two-way sensation whose brilliant performance as a pitcher and a hitter has captivated the baseball universe, has a grade 2 sprain of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. Jared Diamond, WSJ, "Angels’ Shohei Ohtani Has Elbow Injury That Might Require Tommy John Surgery," 8 June 2018 The concert also featured a strongly etched account of J.C. Bach’s G minor Symphony and a brilliant performance of Haydn’s Symphony No. Tim Smith, baltimoresun.com, "A May of Mozart and other treats from BSO, Freiburg Baroque Orchestra," 23 May 2018 But the most brilliant technical performance is socially useless if the public doesn’t have enough faith in us to act on our recommendations. Sean W. Fleming, WIRED, "Lessons from Montecito: Science's Credibility Is At Stake," 14 May 2018 Cleveland heads home with a 2-0 series lead after beating Toronto 128-110 in Game 2 on Thursday behind a brilliant performance from James (43 points, 14 assist and eight rebounds) and a breakout game from Kevin Love (31 points, 11 rebounds). Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY, "LeBron James won't say it, but he owns 'mental edge' over Raptors," 3 May 2018 Plodding and moody, Chappaquiddick contains a brilliant lead performance by Jason Clarke. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "The Eternal Return of the Kennedys," 30 Apr. 2018 All of that together, combined with his inexperience, has translated into a guy who has delivered some brilliant performances and some ugly ones during his first year as a regular starter. Mike Finger, San Antonio Express-News, "For Murray, Spurs’ rough series could be start of something big," 23 Apr. 2018 But for anyone with memories of the brilliant Berkeley performance the same ensemble gave in 2014 of Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610, much of the evening felt comparatively wan. Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle, "Monterverdi’s ‘Orfeo’ gets some new music in Berkeley," 21 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Brilliant said Hill and his staff have tried to keep renovation costs down. Tony Cook, Indianapolis Star, "Attorney General Curtis Hill catches heat for spending on new van, office renovations," 16 Aug. 2017 This Brilliant … (EverQuote Insurance Quotes)(EverQuote Insurance Quotes) Lacy Schley, Discover Magazine, "U.S. Wildfires: Humans vs. Lightning," 9 May 2017 Brilliant and intriguing, a student of architecture, she’s pursued by a number of suitors. Bharti Kirchner, The Seattle Times, "Lives in India intersect in Arundhati Roy’s long-awaited novel," 14 June 2017 He and Fox News inspired documentary films and several books with a critical take on the man and his network, including 2014’s The Loudest Voice in the Room: How the Brilliant, Bombastic Roger Ailes Built Fox News — and Divided a Country. Paul Bond, Billboard, "Roger Ailes, Polarizing Ex-Fox News Chief, Dies at 77," 18 May 2017

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

Adjective

circa 1681, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1690, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for brilliant

Adjective

French brillant, present participle of briller to shine, from Italian brillare

Noun

borrowed from French brillant, noun derivative of brillant brilliant entry 1

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Statistics for brilliant

Last Updated

17 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for brilliant

The first known use of brilliant was circa 1681

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More Definitions for brilliant

brilliant

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of brilliant

: very bright : flashing with light

: very impressive or successful

: extremely intelligent : much more intelligent than most people

brilliant

adjective
bril·liant | \ˈbril-yənt \

Kids Definition of brilliant

1 : flashing with light : very bright brilliant jewels

2 : very impressive a brilliant career

3 : very smart or clever a brilliant student

Other Words from brilliant

brilliantly adverb

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Comments on brilliant

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