Definition of luminary
- a literary luminary
- a luminary in the medical profession
- skywatchers … will see one more bright luminary below Orion and Canis Major
- —Martin Ratcliffe
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
luminaries of the art world
awed by the vast number of luminaries in the night sky
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.
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.
First Known Use: 15th centurySee Words from the same year
: a very famous or successful person
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