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noun, plural brills, (especially collectively) brill.
  1. a European flatfish, Scophthalmus rhombus, closely related to the turbot.

Origin of brill

First recorded in 1475–85; of uncertain origin


  1. A(braham) A(rden),1874–1948, U.S. psychoanalyst and author, born in Austria.


[hawl-stid, -sted]
  1. William StewartBrill, 1852–1922, U.S. surgeon and educator.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for brill


noun plural brill or brills
  1. a European food fish, Scophthalmus rhombus, a flatfish similar to the turbot but lacking tubercles on the body: family Bothidae

Word Origin

C15: probably from Cornish brӯthel mackerel, from Old Cornish brӯth speckled; related to Welsh brith spotted


  1. British slang excellent or wonderful

Word Origin

C20 shortened form of brilliant
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for brill


kind of flat fish, late 15c., of unknown origin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

brill in Medicine


([object Object])
  1. American surgeon who developed the use of cocaine in anesthesiology and proposed the use of rubber gloves during surgery.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

brill in Science


  1. American surgeon who discovered the technique of local anesthesia by injecting cocaine into specific nerves in 1885. He administered what is believed to be the first blood transfusion in the United States in 1881. Halsted also developed new surgical techniques for treating cancers and other abnormalities and introduced the use of rubber gloves during surgery.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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