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[splen-der] /ˈsplɛn dər/
brilliant or gorgeous appearance, coloring, etc.; magnificence:
the splendor of the palace.
an instance or display of imposing pomp or grandeur:
the splendor of the coronation.
grandeur; glory; brilliant distinction:
the splendor of ancient Greek architecture.
great brightness; brilliant light or luster.
verb (used with object)
to make splendid by decorating lavishly; adorn.
verb (used without object)
to move or proceed with splendor, grandeur, or pomp.
Also, especially British, splendour.
Origin of splendor
1400-50; < Latin splendor, equivalent to splend(ēre) to shine + -or -or1; replacing late Middle English splendure < Anglo-French < Latin, as above
Related forms
splendorous, splendrous
[splen-druh s] /ˈsplɛn drəs/ (Show IPA),
outsplendor, verb (used with object)
unsplendorous, adjective
unsplendorously, adverb
Can be confused
splendid, splendorous.
1. show, dash. 3. fame, eminence, renown, celebrity. 4. dazzle, refulgence.
1. squalor. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for splendour
Historical Examples
  • In doing so the clever native of Cologne never failed to draw brilliant pictures of the splendour of the imperial court.

  • The splendour of the sunset was in his soul and the world was athrob with joy.

    The Root of Evil Thomas Dixon
  • Hence the splendour of the tombs of the prelates erected during their lifetime.

  • So also shall we rise one day from our tombs with splendour and magnificence.

    The Basket of Flowers Christoph von Schmid
  • Mortal eye could not bear the splendour, and he stood 'as stylle as dased quayle'.

  • Our black boat was the only dark spot in this sphere of splendour.

    New Italian sketches John Addington Symonds
  • For the splendour of the Elizabethan age, which is always spoken of as a sunrise, was in many ways a sunset.

    A Short History of England G. K. Chesterton
  • Nothing in nature can exceed in splendour the plumage of the sugar-bird.

    The Giraffe Hunters Mayne Reid
  • Don't be afraid of splendour of effect; nothing is more brilliant, nothing more radiant than nature.

  • No words can give any adequate idea of the splendour of this bird.

    The Plant Hunters Mayne Reid
British Dictionary definitions for splendour


the state or quality of being splendid
(heraldry) sun in splendour, a representation of the sun with rays and a human face
Derived Forms
splendorous, splendrous (ˈsplɛndrəs) adjective
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 splendour



mid-15c., from Middle French esplendour, from Latin splendor "brilliance," from splendere "be bright, shine" (see splendid).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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