See more synonyms for bright on
adjective, bright·er, bright·est.
  1. radiating or reflecting light; luminous; shining: The bright coins shone in the gloom.
  2. filled with light: The room was bright with sunshine.
  3. vivid or brilliant: a bright red dress; bright passages of prose.
  4. quick-witted or intelligent: They gave promotions to bright employees.
  5. clever or witty, as a remark: Bright comments enlivened the conversation.
  6. animated; lively; cheerful: a bright and happy child; a bird's bright song.
  7. characterized by happiness or gladness: All the world seems bright and gay.
  8. favorable or auspicious: bright prospects for the future.
  9. radiant or splendid: the bright pageantry of court.
  10. illustrious or glorious, as an era: the bright days of the Renaissance.
  11. clear or translucent, as liquid: The bright water trickled through his fingers.
  12. having a glossy, glazed, or polished finish.
  13. intensely clear and vibrant in tone or quality; clear and sharp in sound: a bright singing voice.
  1. brights,
    1. the automobile or truck headlights used for driving at night or under conditions of decreased visibility.
    2. the brighter level of intensity of these lights, usually deflected upward by switching on a bulb in the headlamp that strikes the lens at a different angle.
  2. flue-cured, light-hued tobacco.
  3. an artist's paintbrush having short, square-edged bristles.
  4. Archaic. brightness; splendor.
adverb, bright·er, bright·est.
  1. in a bright manner; brightly.

Origin of bright

before 1000; Middle English; Old English breht, beorht; cognate with Gothic bairht(s), Old Saxon ber(a)ht, Old High German beraht, Old Norse bjartr; Welsh berth splendid (< *berkto-); akin to Latin flagrāre to blaze (see flagrant), Albanian (i) bardhë white, Sanskrit bhrājate(it) shines
Related formsbright·ish, adjectivebright·ly, adverbo·ver·bright, adjectiveo·ver·bright·ly, adverbo·ver·bright·ness, nounsu·per·bright, adjectiveun·bright, adjectiveun·bright·ly, adverbun·bright·ness, noun

Synonyms for bright

See more synonyms for on

Synonym study

1. Bright, brilliant, radiant, shining refer to that which gives forth, is filled with, or reflects light. Bright suggests the general idea: bright flare, stars, mirror. Brilliant implies a strong, unusual, or sparkling brightness, often changeful or varied and too strong to be agreeable: brilliant sunlight. Radiant implies the pouring forth of steady rays of light, especially as are agreeable to the eyes: a radiant face. Shining implies giving forth or reflecting a strong or steady light: shining eyes.

Antonyms for bright

1. dull, dim. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for brighter

Contemporary Examples of brighter

Historical Examples of brighter

  • She was brighter than she had been for days, more interested.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • But brighter than all glittered the silver scarfs which Arabs begged us to buy.

    It Happened in Egypt

    C. N. Williamson

  • Suddenly, too, the world took to his eyes a brighter and fairer aspect.

  • If you look at the dark side first, the other seems all the brighter.

    The Black Bag

    Louis Joseph Vance

  • About noon the sky began to clear; it grew brighter and brighter.

    Moni the Goat-Boy

    Johanna Spyri

British Dictionary definitions for brighter


  1. John . 1811–89, British liberal statesman, economist, and advocate of free trade: with Richard Cobden he led the Anti-Corn-Law League (1838–46)


  1. emitting or reflecting much light; shining
  2. (of colours) intense or vivid
  3. full of promisea bright future
  4. full of animation; cheerfula bright face
  5. informal quick witted or clevera bright child
  6. magnificent; gloriousa bright victory
  7. polished; glisteninga bright finish
  8. (of the voice) distinct and clear
  9. (of a liquid) translucent and cleara circle of bright water
  10. bright and early very early in the morning
  1. a thin flat paintbrush with a straight sharp edge used for highlighting in oil painting
  2. poetic brightness or splendourthe bright of his armour
  1. brightlythe fire was burning bright
See also brights
Derived Formsbrightly, adverb

Word Origin for bright

Old English beorht; related to Old Norse bjartr, Gothic bairhts clear, Old High German beraht, Norwegian bjerk, Swedish brokig pied
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

Word Origin and History for brighter



Old English bryht, by metathesis from beorht "bright; splendid; clear-sounding; beautiful; divine," from Proto-Germanic *berhta- "bright" (cf. Old Saxon berht, Old Norse bjartr, Old High German beraht, Gothic bairhts "bright"), from PIE root *bhereg- "to gleam, white" (cf. Sanskrit bhrajate "shines, glitters," Lithuanian breksta "to dawn," Welsh berth "bright, beautiful"). Meaning "quick-witted" is from 1741.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with brighter


In addition to the idioms beginning with bright

  • bright and early
  • bright idea
  • bright side

also see:

  • look on the bright side
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.