- shining brightly; sparkling; glittering; lustrous: the brilliant lights of the city.
- distinguished; illustrious: a brilliant performance by a young pianist.
- having or showing great intelligence, talent, quality, etc.: a brilliant technician.
- strong and clear in tone; vivid; bright: brilliant blues and greens; the brilliant sound of the trumpets.
- splendid or magnificent: a brilliant social event.
- Jewelry. a gem, especially a diamond, having any of several varieties of the brilliant cut.
- Printing. a size of type about 3½-point.
Origin of brilliant
Examples from the Web for brilliant
These were brilliant writers who were really great at keeping it to jokes.Coffee Talk with Fred Armisen: On ‘Portlandia,’ Meeting Obama, and Taylor Swift’s Greatness
January 7, 2015
Sachin Tendulkar may be one of the most brilliant players in the sport, but he struggles to liven up his memoirs.The Story of the World’s Greatest Cricket Player
December 24, 2014
Both impart the experience of sitting with brilliant Cubans over a rum to debate the State of Cuban Intellectual Life.Book Bag: Great Books About Cuba
December 20, 2014
Of course, you can read this just as a brilliant, subversive coda to a horror movie.Grief: The Real Monster in The Babadook
December 19, 2014
I also think we could have another talk with Fincher who may be difficult but is brilliant and already engaged.Shocking New Reveals From Sony Hack: J. Law, Pitt, Clooney, and Star Wars
December 12, 2014
The Eton Society of Gladstone's day was a brilliant group of boys.
On the contrary, he speedily inaugurated a new and brilliant era in finance.
On the 12th July, General Sumter commenced his brilliant career.A Sketch of the Life of Brig. Gen. Francis Marion
William Dobein James
He felt that his visit had not been at all the brilliant success he had anticipated.In the Midst of Alarms
Cecilia wore a silver crown, in which glistened the most brilliant of pearls.The Dream
- shining with light; sparkling
- (of a colour) having a high saturation and reflecting a considerable amount of light; vivid
- outstanding; exceptionala brilliant success
- splendid; magnificenta brilliant show
- of outstanding intelligence or intellecta brilliant mind; a brilliant idea
- (of the tone of an instrument) having a large proportion of high harmonics above the fundamental
- Also: brilliant (French brijɑ̃), brilliante (French brijɑ̃t)with spirit; lively
- Also called: brilliant cut
- a popular circular cut for diamonds and other gemstones in the form of two many-faceted pyramids (the top one truncated) joined at their bases
- a diamond of this cut
- (formerly) a size of a printer's type approximately equal to 4 point
Word Origin and History for brilliant
1680s, from French brilliant "sparkling, shining" present participle of briller "to shine" (16c.), from Italian brillare "sparkle, whirl," perhaps from Vulgar Latin *berillare "to shine like a beryl," from berillus "beryl, precious stone," from Latin beryllus (see beryl). In reference to diamonds (1680s) it means a flat-topped cut invented 17c. by Venetian cutter Vincenzo Peruzzi.