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90s Slang You Should Know


[loo-muh-nuh s] /ˈlu mə nəs/
radiating or reflecting light; shining; bright.
lighted up or illuminated; well-lighted:
the luminous ballroom.
brilliant intellectually; enlightened or enlightening, as a writer or a writer's works:
a luminous concept; luminous prose.
clear; readily intelligible:
a concise, luminous report.
Origin of luminous
late Middle English
First recorded in 1400-50; late Middle English word from Latin word lūminōsus. See lumen, -ous
Related forms
luminously, adverb
luminousness, noun
nonluminous, adjective
nonluminously, adverb
nonluminousness, noun
self-luminous, adjective
semiluminous, adjective
semiluminously, adverb
semiluminousness, noun
unluminous, adjective
unluminously, adverb
unluminousness, noun
1. lucid, radiant, resplendent, brilliant. 3. bright, intelligent. 4. understandable, perspicuous, lucid.
1, 2. dark. 3. stupid. 4. obscure. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for luminous
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Or was it that the figure itself was luminous by some light from within?

    Miss Ludington's Sister Edward Bellamy
  • The track of a luminous beam could not be seen in such water.

  • Their green antenna rose above the water, a curious forest of luminous tentacles, flexing, wavering.

  • Overhead, in her fancy, she saw the luminous Southern Cross.

    The Rhodesian Gertrude Page
  • It was wrapped in a luminous fog, red in the midst of the blue light cast by the moon upon the surrounding mountains.

    The Usurper Judith Gautier
British Dictionary definitions for luminous


radiating or reflecting light; shining; glowing: luminous colours
(not in technical use) exhibiting luminescence: luminous paint
full of light; well-lit
(of a physical quantity in photometry) evaluated according to the visual sensation produced in an observer rather than by absolute energy measurements: luminous flux, luminous intensity Compare radiant
easily understood; lucid; clear
enlightening or wise
Derived Forms
luminously, adverb
luminousness, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Latin lūminōsus full of light, from lūmen light
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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Word Origin and History for luminous

early 15c., "full of light," from Latin luminosus "shining, full of light," from lumen (genitive luminis) "light," related to lucere "to shine" (see light (n.)). Related: Luminously.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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luminous in Medicine

luminous lu·mi·nous (lōō'mə-nəs)
Emitting light, especially emitting self-generated light.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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