Synonyms & Antonyms of brilliant

(Entry 1 of 2)

2 having or showing quickness of mind
  • a brilliant boy who left for college at the age of 16

Synonyms for brilliant

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Antonyms for brilliant



Synonyms & Antonyms of brilliant (Entry 2 of 2)

a usually valuable stone cut and polished for ornament
  • the diamond cutter set out an array of brilliants to show the various ways the diamond could be cut

Synonyms for brilliant

Words Related to brilliant

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Frequently Asked Questions About brilliant

How does the adjective brilliant differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of brilliant are bright, luminous, lustrous, and radiant. While all these words mean "shining or glowing with light," brilliant implies intense often sparkling brightness.

When could bright be used to replace brilliant?

While in some cases nearly identical to brilliant, bright implies emitting or reflecting a high degree of light.

When is it sensible to use luminous instead of brilliant?

While the synonyms luminous and brilliant are close in meaning, luminous implies emission of steady, suffused, glowing light by reflection or in surrounding darkness.

When would lustrous be a good substitute for brilliant?

The words lustrous and brilliant can be used in similar contexts, but lustrous stresses an even, rich light from a surface that reflects brightly without glittering.

Where would radiant be a reasonable alternative to brilliant?

Although the words radiant and brilliant have much in common, radiant stresses the emission or seeming emission of rays of light.

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Time Traveler for brilliant

Time Traveler

The first known use of brilliant was circa 1681

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Cite this Entry

“Brilliant.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Oct. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on brilliant

Nglish: Translation of brilliant for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of brilliant for Arabic Speakers


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