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noun (1)

lus·​ter ˈlə-stər How to pronounce luster (audio)
variants or lustre
: a glow of reflected light : sheen
specifically : the appearance of the surface of a mineral dependent upon its reflecting qualities
the luster of polished metal
: a glow of light from within : luminosity
the luster of the stars
: an inner beauty : radiance
: a superficial (see superficial sense 2a) attractiveness or appearance of excellence
scandals have diminished his luster
: a glass pendant (see pendant sense 1a) used especially to ornament a candlestick or chandelier
: a decorative object (such as a chandelier) hung with glass pendants
chiefly British : a fabric with cotton warp and a filling of wool, mohair, or alpaca
lusterless adjective


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variants or lustre
lustered or lustred; lustering or lustring ˈlə-st(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce luster (audio)

intransitive verb

: to have luster : gleam

transitive verb

: to give luster or distinction to
: to coat or treat with a substance that imparts luster


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noun (2)

variants or lustre
: a period of five years : lustrum sense 2

Example Sentences

Verb her pearl necklace lustered softly in the candlelight of the restaurant
Recent Examples on the Web
Vanney, a member of the team’s original roster in 1996, was brought back before the 2021 season to restore some of that lost luster. Staff Writer Follow, Los Angeles Times, 7 Feb. 2023 This game lost luster after the Tide’s loss in Baton Rouge, but Lane Kiffin would still love to score a win off his former boss. John Talty |, al, 6 Nov. 2022 As the shiny allure of newness already begins to lose luster at some places, this is not the case for a new-ish Italian restaurant in Denton. Dallas News, 25 Oct. 2022 That outcome, along with Golovkin’s age (40, Alvarez is 32), could have taken some of the luster off this fight. Andrew Mahoney,, 16 Sep. 2022 Many eulogies have been written for the Jet Age of the 1950s and '60s, when air travel was easy, fun, and glamorous, but a new category of semiprivate carriers is trying to restore some of that lost luster. Alex Bhattacharji, Condé Nast Traveler, 7 Sep. 2022 The long delay did nothing to take the luster off a pitching duel between Shane Bieber and Johnny Cueto. Paul Hoynes, cleveland, 20 Aug. 2022 During his four-year tenure, Hefzy and his team revamped the prominent Arab fest, which had been losing luster due to political turbulence. Nick Vivarelli, Variety, 29 Mar. 2022 Interviews with Polish drivers, on both sides of the English Channel, suggest that Britain has lost luster. New York Times, 28 Nov. 2021 See More

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

Word History


Noun (1)

Middle French lustre, from Old Italian lustro, from lustrare to brighten, from Latin, to purify ceremonially, from lustrum


verbal derivative of luster entry 1

Noun (2)

Middle English lustre, from Latin lustrum

First Known Use

Noun (1)

circa 1522, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1528, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Noun (2)

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of luster was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near luster

Cite this Entry

“Luster.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


variants or lustre
: a shine or sheen especially from reflected light : gloss
: sparkling brilliance
: glory entry 1 sense 1a, splendor
the luster of a famous name

More from Merriam-Webster on luster

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