luminary

play
noun lu·mi·nary \ ˈlü-mə-ˌner-ē \

Definition of luminary

plural luminaries
1 :a person of prominence or brilliant achievement
  • a literary luminary
  • a luminary in the medical profession
2 :a body that gives light; especially :one of the celestial bodies
  • skywatchers … will see one more bright luminary below Orion and Canis Major
  • —Martin Ratcliffe

luminary

adjective

luminary was our Word of the Day on 10/11/2015. Hear the podcast!

Examples of luminary in a Sentence

  1. luminaries of the art world

  2. awed by the vast number of luminaries in the night sky

Recent Examples of luminary from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'luminary.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

Allow us to shed some light on "luminary." It came to English by way of Anglo-French and Late Latin, and it traces back to the Latin word lumen, meaning "light." Other "lumen" descendants in English include "illuminate" (to light up), "luminous" (emitting light) and "phillumenist" (one who collects matchbooks or matchbox labels). "Luminary" has been shining its light in English since the 15th century.

Origin and Etymology of luminary

Middle English luminarye, from Anglo-French & Late Latin; Anglo-French luminaire light, luminary, from Late Latin luminaria, plural of luminare lamp, heavenly body, from Latin, window, from lumin-, lumen light; akin to Latin lucēre to shine — more at light


LUMINARY Defined for English Language Learners

luminary

play
noun

Definition of luminary for English Language Learners

  • : a very famous or successful person



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