brilliant

adjective
bril·​liant | \ ˈbril-yənt How to pronounce brilliant (audio) \

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 Will he be remembered as the brilliant, cost-cutting manager who rescued Nissan and built one of mightiest auto alliances in the industry? Brian Bremner, Fortune, "“Names? You know them.” From Lebanon, Carlos Ghosn Prepares To Settle Scores," 2 Jan. 2020 Despite his distaste for the artifice of L.A., Joe quickly decides that Love is everything that Beck wasn’t: brilliant, family-oriented, and, most of all, real. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "How to Make a Self-Aware Show About a Serial Killer," 30 Dec. 2019 The United Launch Alliance rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and was visible for at least five minutes, its white contrail a brilliant contrast against the dark sky. Fox News, "Boeing's Starliner off course in orbit after launch debut," 21 Dec. 2019 She was described as generous, charming, persistent, brilliant, inquisitive, adventurous, sometimes stubborn, an incredible puzzle doer and a thesaurus’ worth of other attributes. Richard A. Marini, ExpressNews.com, "San Antonio’s Charline McCombs remembered," 17 Dec. 2019 But amid an otherwise brilliant performance, Johnson made a misstep, dropping a sure-fire first-down pass on fourth-and-4, giving the ball back to Iowa. Jace Frederick, Twin Cities, "Jace Frederick: Saturday’s second half proved Gophers’ first loss was easily avoidable," 16 Nov. 2019 In one of them, Lewis shows off his hilariously brilliant dance moves. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "8 Facts About "Someone You Loved" Singer Lewis Capaldi," 29 Oct. 2019 The highlight, though, was a massive floor-to-ceiling window filled with a cross-hatch of autumn leaves in brilliant shades of red, orange, and yellow. Laura Delarato, Condé Nast Traveler, "How Renting an Isolated Cabin Forced Me to Appreciate Silence," 11 Dec. 2019 Pelican; 368 pages; £20 A brilliant and accessible tour of Shakespeare’s plays that is also a radical manifesto for how to read and watch his work. The Economist, "Our books of the year," 7 Dec. 2019

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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Time Traveler for brilliant

Time Traveler

The first known use of brilliant was circa 1681

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Statistics for brilliant

Last Updated

10 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Brilliant.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/brilliant. Accessed 17 January 2020.

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More Definitions for brilliant

brilliant

adjective
How to pronounce brilliant (audio)

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 How to pronounce brilliant (audio) \

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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