- highly distinguished; renowned; famous: an illustrious leader.
- glorious, as deeds or works: many illustrious achievements.
- Obsolete. luminous; bright.
Origin of illustrious
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for illustrious
And I realized that a man had to be pretty sure of himself, because she was quite an illustrious person.Mel Brooks Is Always Funny and Often Wise in This 1975 Playboy Interview
February 16, 2014
Terman and his assistant relied on biographical accounts of illustrious individuals to compute the scores.What is a Genius?
November 9, 2013
In The House of Rothschild, I identified at least three members of that illustrious financial dynasty as gay.Niall Ferguson Responds to the Blogospherse
May 8, 2013
Sunday's event would have been much better served had its illustrious panel reckoned honestly with this question.Liberalism And Zionism (Sort Of) Debated
April 15, 2013
Downton Abbey, she said, stands out in her long and illustrious career because of “its universal appeal.”‘A Certain Age’—Shirley MacLaine Rattles Downton Abbey
December 27, 2012
All the other statues and drawings of your illustrious kinsman are at your disposal.Philothea
Lydia Maria Child
Beneath were the illustrious dead; around were the illustrious living.
There was but one feeling,—that England had lost one of her most illustrious statesmen.
The aged and illustrious man had done what the poor boy refused to do.Biographical Stories
Joseph afterward was an illustrious specimen of this disposition.Female Scripture Biographies, Vol. I
Francis Augustus Cox
- of great renown; famous and distinguished
- glorious or greatillustrious deeds
- obsolete shining
Word Origin and History for illustrious
1560s, from Latin illustris "lighted, bright, brilliant;" figuratively "distinguished, famous," probably a back-formation from illustrare "embellish, distinguish, make famous" (see illustration). Sometimes also illustrous. Replaced illustre in same sense (mid-15c.), from Middle French illustre.