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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 self-luminous
Historical Examples
  • A gigantic, self-luminous sphere was hanging in the sky, occupying nearly the whole of it.

    A Voyage to Arcturus David Lindsay
  • The interior of Jupiter is very hot, but the planet is not self-luminous.

  • It is two suns, self-luminous, revolving around each other, and neither able to throw upon its mate the burden of its shining.

    A New Atmosphere Gail Hamilton
  • These great and self-luminous points, bound together by natural affinity, constitute the fixed centre of our religion.

    Studies of Christianity James Martineau
  • We discover that there are self-luminous bodies which produce no increase of temperature, and therefore no sensation of pain.

    Natural Philosophy Wilhelm Ostwald
  • Astern was a white, self-luminous wake that narrowed to a point in the distance before it had lost its phosphorescent glow.

    The Wreck of the Titan Morgan Robertson
  • Our planet was once a self-luminous orb; it has now become opaque, and shines only with a borrowed light.

    The Theistic Conception of the World B. F. (Benjamin Franklin) Cocker
  • But the soul is self-luminous and ever lasting, omnipresent and super-eminent, while the mind is deceptive and egoism.

  • These last appear to be suns in the closing period of existence as self-luminous bodies.

    Curiosities of the Sky Garrett Serviss
  • But I think the opinion that the greater part of the light is self-luminous, like the nebul, generally prevails.

    The Plurality of Worlds William Whewell
British Dictionary definitions for self-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 self-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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self-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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