adjective, bright·er, bright·est.


adverb, bright·er, bright·est.

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

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 brightest

Contemporary Examples of brightest

Historical Examples of brightest

  • To think of the brightest and most fortunate accidents of life.

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

  • The stars were shining, and I looked for my own special one, and chose the largest and brightest.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • His boots, which were always of the brightest, creaked as he walked.

  • "I always get around them that way," he said with an expression of the brightest cunning.

    Ruggles of Red Gap

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • This was probably the brightest era in the life of the Duchess of Devonshire.

British Dictionary definitions for brightest



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



emitting or reflecting much light; shining
(of colours) intense or vivid
full of promisea bright future
full of animation; cheerfula bright face
informal quick witted or clevera bright child
magnificent; gloriousa bright victory
polished; glisteninga bright finish
(of the voice) distinct and clear
(of a liquid) translucent and cleara circle of bright water
bright and early very early in the morning


a thin flat paintbrush with a straight sharp edge used for highlighting in oil painting
poetic brightness or splendourthe bright of his armour


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 brightest



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 brightest


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.