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[bril-yuh n-teen] /ˈbrɪl yənˌtin/
an oily preparation used to make the hair lustrous.
a dress fabric resembling alpaca.
Origin of brilliantine
1870-75, Americanism; < French brillantine. See brilliant, -ine2
Related forms
brilliantined, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for brilliantine
Historical Examples
  • What a gorgeous Nut—all brilliantine, brown polish, and brasso!

    John Brown Captain R. W. Campbell
  • There was his little moustache-brush, and phial of brilliantine to burnish it.

  • The barber seemed to replace the pot of brilliantine with regret.

    Poor Relations Compton Mackenzie
  • Now it was brushed about his ears, and it glistened as if from some application of brilliantine or other toilet essence.

    Evelyn Innes George Moore
  • The man had brilliantine on his hair and moustache, and the latter had been dressed with curling irons!

    The Riddle of the Night Thomas W. Hanshew
  • He liked the way she had her hair arranged, wondered if it was brilliantine that made it glisten so.

    Flappers and Philosophers F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • He pushed aside the blue glass powder-box, the vial of brilliantine and the brushes.

    A Cigarette-Maker's Romance F. Marion Crawford
  • The head still smells of essence—honey and flowers at Hatts, brilliantine at Martyrs.

    Rowlandson's Oxford A. Hamilton Gibbs
  • The brilliantine and mohair do not feel as soft as the wool serges or cashmeres, but rather more wiry.

    Clothing and Health Helen Kinne
  • There should be about this individual a general atmosphere of brilliantine, clothes and jewelry.

    Fair Harbor

    Joseph Crosby Lincoln
British Dictionary definitions for brilliantine


a perfumed oil used to make the hair smooth and shiny
(mainly US) a glossy fabric made of mohair and cotton
Word Origin
C19: from French, from brillant shining
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
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