Definition of luminary
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
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Examples of luminary in a Sentence
luminaries of the art world
awed by the vast number of luminaries in the night sky
Recent Examples of luminary from the Web
In June a property-investing start-up called Cadre attracted financial backing from Silicon Valley luminaries including Andreessen Horowitz, a venture-capital company.
The Madison Avenue home was the site of important meetings where civil rights luminaries met to plan their next moves in a movement that changed the city forever, Morrill says.
These mysteries are less science, more science-fiction, drawn from the pages of books by Arthur C. Clarke and other genre luminaries.
Amid the line of UConn luminaries and athletes of all stripes, a Broadway star stepped to the first tee at TPC River Highlands.
Dallas Street Choir conductor Jonathan Palant has also brought in some world-class musical luminaries for the performance.
At dusk, luminaries were lit to honor those who have died from cancer or are battling the disease.
With nominees this year including luminaries like Bette Midler—after three Grammys, three Emmys, and four Golden Globes, this is her first Tony nomination ever—
Dozens of people gathered around Thrasher Fountain to light luminaries and release 100 sky lanterns in recognition of World AIDS Day in Big Spring International Park in Huntsville on Dec. 1, 2013.
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
First Known Use: 15th centurySee Words from the same year
LUMINARY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of luminary for English Language Learners
: a very famous or successful person
Seen and Heard
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