luminous

adjective
lu·​mi·​nous | \ ˈlü-mə-nəs How to pronounce luminous (audio) \

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 Consider the Wild Dew Treatment Essence an insurance policy for keeping your skin looking its most luminous throughout the day. Sophie Wirt, Allure, "Peach & Lily Is Adding 4 New K-Beauty Products to Its Amazing Skin-Care Line," 15 Aug. 2018 Natural wines could not have offered a more luminous contrast to the industrial practices of the wine industry, a business that marketed itself as pastoral. Eric Asimov, New York Times, "France Defines Natural Wine, but Is That Enough?," 16 Apr. 2020 Don’t miss the luminous colors and textures in the abstract paintings at Motoko, where the Japanese-Canadian artist by the same name can often be found at work. Terry Ward, Condé Nast Traveler, "A British Columbia Road Trip With Forest Views and Craft Brews," 26 Feb. 2020 Shot after shot evokes some French or Dutch Old Master, using rich, luminous colors and deft choreography. Lidija Haas, The New Republic, "In Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Love is a Work of Art," 12 Feb. 2020 At dusk, the work mellows, taking on a stiller, more luminous quality, ensconced in a hazy, ethereal glow. Deborah Vankin, Los Angeles Times, "What are those glowing red cubes outside MOCA? Meet Larry Bell’s latest work," 30 Sep. 2019 The Pleiads— also known as the Seven Sisters—are luminous, blue stars. Isabel Garcia, House Beautiful, "Attention Stargazers! This Weekend Is the Best Time to Watch the Night Sky," 26 Mar. 2020 Nearly 70 years ago scientists calculated the distances to some nearby luminous blue stars. Mark J. Reid, Scientific American, "A New Map of the Milky Way," 17 Mar. 2020 David Portillo was similarly luminous as the Steersman. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, "Valery Gergiev Weighs Down the Met’s New “Flying Dutchman”," 16 Mar. 2020

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

Time Traveler for luminous

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for luminous

Last Updated

22 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Luminous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/luminous. Accessed 1 Jun. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for luminous

luminous

adjective
How to pronounce luminous (audio)

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 How to pronounce luminous (audio) \

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 How to pronounce luminous (audio) \

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

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

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

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!