Word of the Day : November 26, 2017

illustrious

play
adjective ih-LUSS-tree-us

Definition

: notably or brilliantly outstanding because of dignity or achievements or actions : eminent

Did You Know?

Illustrious people seem to light up everything around them. The etymology of illustrious makes it clear that a shining glow (both literal and figurative) has long been associated with the word. Illustrious derives from the Latin illustris, which was probably a back-formation of the verb illustrare ("to illustrate"), which in turn comes from lustrare, meaning "to purify" or "to make bright," and which is related to the Latin noun lustrum that gave us luster. At one time, illustrious was used in the literal sense of "shining brightly with light," but that meaning is now considered archaic. The word is today almost exclusively used in its figurative application to describe something that stands out brilliantly, much like a bright star stands out in the sky.


Examples

During the ceremony, the illustrious star of stage and screen was presented with a lifetime achievement award.

"For the first time, WWE's illustrious father-daughter duo 'Nature Boy' Ric Flair and Charlotte come together to tell their legendary story through their autobiography Second Nature…." — Jim Varsallone, The Miami Herald, 26 Sept. 2017



Name That Synonym

Fill in the blanks to complete a synonym of illustrious: r _ _ o _ b _ a _ _ e.

VIEW THE ANSWER

Podcast


More Words of the Day

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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