noun (1)
lus·​ter | \ ˈlə-stər How to pronounce luster (audio) \
variants: or lustre

Definition of luster

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : 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
2a : a glow of light from within : luminosity the luster of the stars
b : an inner beauty : radiance
3 : a superficial (see superficial sense 2a) attractiveness or appearance of excellence scandals have diminished his luster
4a : a glass pendant (see pendant sense 1a) used especially to ornament a candlestick or chandelier
b : a decorative object (such as a chandelier) hung with glass pendants
5 chiefly British : a fabric with cotton warp and a filling of wool, mohair, or alpaca


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

Definition of luster (Entry 2 of 3)

intransitive verb

: to have luster : gleam

transitive verb

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


noun (2)
variants: or lustre

Definition of luster (Entry 3 of 3)

: a period of five years : lustrum sense 2

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from luster

Noun (1)

lusterless \ ˈlə-​stər-​ləs How to pronounce lusterless (audio) \ adjective

Examples of luster in a Sentence

Verb her pearl necklace lustered softly in the candlelight of the restaurant

First Known Use of luster

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

History and Etymology for luster

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about luster

Statistics for luster

Time Traveler for luster

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for luster


variants: or lustre \ ˈlə-​stər \

Kids Definition of luster

: the shiny quality of a surface that reflects light a pearl's luster

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on luster

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for luster

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with luster

Spanish Central: Translation of luster

Nglish: Translation of luster for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of luster for Arabic Speakers

Comments on luster

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


concealed or difficult to comprehend

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Pass the Little Ribbons: A Pasta Word Quiz

  • pasta resembling wheels with spokes
  • Match the pasta to its meaning in English: Rotelle
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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