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

The whole country is now seeing his amazing intellect and his brilliant legal mind. Fox News, "Hannity: Anonymous op-ed writer needs to come forward," 6 Sep. 2018 Buffalo Trace The brilliant minds at Buffalo Trace turned a natural disaster into a marketing moment. Sarah Riley And Zahria Rogers, The Courier-Journal, "From 'bourbonado' to big spills: Kentucky's historic bourbon disasters," 22 June 2018 This conspiracy thriller is about a young CIA analyst (Max Irons) whose brilliant mind turns out to be both a great asset and a great detriment. Sandra Gonzalez, CNN, "8 new shows to watch this summer," 28 May 2018 Here are 30 brilliant things every woman should do alone at least once in her life: 1. Jessica Leigh Mattern, Woman's Day, "30 Fun Things to Do By Yourself in Your Lifetime," 3 Jan. 2019 To put this deal into perspective, Google’s Home Hub, which has a smaller (albeit brilliant) display, was $99 during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend. Cameron Faulkner, The Verge, "The 10-inch Lenovo Smart Display for $160 is a great value," 6 Dec. 2018 So far, though, those stretches haven’t been brilliant enough, or long enough, for Woods to add to his total of 79 career victories. Gary D'amato, USA TODAY, "Questions remain about Tiger's game, but one thing hasn't changed coming into U.S. Open," 12 June 2018 What’s more, Jaimes is a brilliant character writer. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "Nancy, a 1930s comic strip, was the funniest thing I read in 2018," 26 Dec. 2018 Matt’s tall, handsome, brilliant, funny and deeply kind. Jill Gleeson, Good Housekeeping, "Menopause Doesn't Make Me Invisible," 5 Oct. 2018

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

7 Feb 2019

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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