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 Suddenly, here was the work of contemporary women: brilliant, inventive, wild, diverse, astonishingly alive. Lauren Groff, The New York Review of Books, "The Keatsian Intelligence of Lorrie Moore," 18 Feb. 2020 Here’s how the short but brilliant lifetime of a bolt goes down. Rob Verger, Popular Science, "Dissecting a lightning strike, from flash to boom," 10 Feb. 2020 Chasing his record-breaking sixth title here, Mickelson began his third round with a birdie on one from short range, then set up a birdie on two with a brilliant shot from a greenside bunker. Steve Dimeglio, Golfweek, "Phil Mickelson one shot off lead at AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am," 8 Feb. 2020 Lesli is just a dynamo, and Alex Gansa, our showrunner, is brilliant and a very good leader. Zac Posen, Town & Country, "Claire Danes Is Finally Home," 4 Feb. 2020 The recovery from Apollo 14’s Abort switch failure can only be described as brilliant and heroic. Frank O’brien, Ars Technica, "A deep dive into the Apollo Guidance Computer, and the hack that saved Apollo 14," 30 Jan. 2020 That leaves me with [The Two Popes'] Anthony Hopkins, who was absolutely brilliant, and [Once Upon a Time in Hollywood's] Brad Pitt. The Hollywood Reporter, "Brutally Honest Oscar Ballot: 'Irishman' "Was Boring," Tarantino "Amazing," "I Want an American Director to Win"," 4 Feb. 2020 Show star Claire Danes, who plays the brilliant and bipolar CIA agent Carrie Mathison, was also bummed about Max’s demise. Joe Flint, WSJ, "‘Homeland’ Tends to Kill Off Its Stars. How Is Max Piotrowski Still Alive?," 3 Feb. 2020 Previously, scientists thought many uniquely human traits resulted from sudden or brilliant adaptations, but new discoveries point to gradual processes that involve biological and social factors. Scientific American, "The Rise of Humans," 3 Feb. 2020

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

21 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Brilliant.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/brilliant. Accessed 26 Feb. 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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