luminous

adjective
lu·​mi·​nous | \ ˈlü-mə-nəs \

Definition of luminous 

1a : emitting or reflecting usually steady, suffused, or glowing light luminous objects—the nebula, the stars, the planets— Lincoln La Paz
b : of or relating to light or to luminous flux
2 : bathed in or exposed to steady light luminous with sunlight
3 : clear, enlightening a luminous explanation
4 : shining, illustrious a luminous film star a luminous performance

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from luminous

luminously adverb
luminousness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for luminous

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.

Did You Know?

Luminous, like its synonyms radiant, shining, glowing, and lustrous, is generally a positive adjective, especially when it describes something that doesn't literally glow, such as a face, a performance, or a poem. Luminous signs depend on a gas such as neon, krypton, argon, xenon, or radon—and you can use luminous (DayGlo) paint to make your own signs. New technologies have now given us luminous fabrics, which are being used to produce striking or creepy effects in clothing, upholstery, and interior surfaces.

Examples of luminous in a Sentence

I saw the cat's luminous eyes in my car's headlights. a watch with a luminous dial The room was luminous with sunlight.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Everybody Knows is a classy-looking thing: It was shot by master Spanish cinematographer José Luis Alcaine, and sections of it take place in a church bell-tower whose key feature is a luminous clock face. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, "Cannes 2018 Opens with a Middling Movie But a Killer Jury," 9 May 2018 Carey's flawless skin was as luminous as the glittering sequins on her dress. Seventeen Magazine, Seventeen, "Recreate Carey Mulligan's MET Gala Look!," 8 May 2012 This produces what are called luminous accreting black holes. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Galaxy mergers hide ravenous supermassive black holes," 14 Nov. 2018 Another way to get even more bang for your (surprisingly small) buck? Dab the stuff on your highlight points to give you powder highlighter a glossier, more luminous glow. Zoë Weiner, Teen Vogue, "Selena Gomez’s Makeup Artist Mixes Aquaphor with Eyeshadow," 19 Sep. 2018 In the 1960s, Buren began a long and luminous riff on conceptual work, often incorporating what has become signature vertical stripes. Shonquis Moreno, Curbed, "‘If you take out the art, the building itself can’t stand’," 6 Aug. 2018 Twelve minutes leaves my face luminous and much firmer. Glamour Beauty Editors, Glamour, "18 Genius Tips for Glowing Skin," 2 Aug. 2018 At the bright center of the Tarantula Nebula is the giant star cluster NGC 2070, whose core holds some of the largest and most luminous stars humans have ever observed, according to a statement from ESO. Chelsea Gohd, Space.com, "A Tarantula and Seahorse Make Up These Dazzling Nebulas," 30 May 2018 Book in winter through Frontiers International Travel, when the lodge fire is roaring and the landscape is at its most luminous and silent. Alex Postman, Condé Nast Traveler, "Where to Go When You Just Want to Be Alone," 7 Sep. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of luminous

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for luminous

Middle English, from Latin luminosus, from lumin-, lumen

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about luminous

Statistics for luminous

Last Updated

3 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for luminous

The first known use of luminous was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for luminous

luminous

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of luminous

: producing or seeming to produce light

: filled with light : brightly lit

: very bright in color

luminous

adjective
lu·​mi·​nous | \ ˈlü-mə-nəs \

Kids Definition of luminous

: giving off light The dial of the clock was luminous and it shed a very soft green light.— George Selden, The Cricket in Times Square

Other Words from luminous

luminously adverb

luminous

adjective
lu·​mi·​nous | \ ˈlü-mə-nəs \

Medical Definition of luminous 

1 : emitting or reflecting usually steady, suffused, or glowing light
2 : of or relating to light or to luminous flux

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on luminous

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with luminous

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for luminous

Spanish Central: Translation of luminous

Nglish: Translation of luminous for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of luminous for Arabic Speakers

Comments on luminous

What made you want to look up luminous? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a person who helps groups work together

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Liar, Liar Quiz

  • alt-5761dbe2ba986
  • Someone who pretends to be sick in order to avoid work is a:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!