: 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.
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
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