noun, plural brills, (especially collectively) brill.

a European flatfish, Scophthalmus rhombus, closely related to the turbot.

Origin of brill

First recorded in 1475–85; of uncertain origin




A(braham) A(rden),1874–1948, U.S. psychoanalyst and author, born in Austria.


[hawl-stid, -sted]


William StewartBrill, 1852–1922, U.S. surgeon and educator. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for brill

Contemporary Examples of brill

Historical Examples of brill

  • Brill Young is going to take them to Oroville, and you can act as chairman of the guard.

    Whispering Smith

    Frank H. Spearman

  • "This surely marks an epoch in the history of Brill," he went on.

    The Rover Boys in the Air

    Edward Stratemeyer

  • Soon the boys had gathered,—as jolly a crowd as could be found at Brill.

    The Rover Boys in the Air

    Edward Stratemeyer

  • "Perhaps we can wire it good enough to get back to Brill with," returned Tom.

    The Rover Boys in the Air

    Edward Stratemeyer

  • In 1885 Brill estimated the total crop of Suffolk County at about 125,000 barrels.

    The Cauliflower

    A. A. Crozier

British Dictionary definitions for brill



noun plural brill or brills

a European food fish, Scophthalmus rhombus, a flatfish similar to the turbot but lacking tubercles on the body: family Bothidae

Word Origin for brill

C15: probably from Cornish brӯthel mackerel, from Old Cornish brӯth speckled; related to Welsh brith spotted




British slang excellent or wonderful

Word Origin for brill

C20 shortened form of brilliant
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 brill

kind of flat fish, late 15c., of unknown origin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

brill in Medicine


[hôlstəd, -stĕd′]William Stewart 1852-1922

American surgeon who developed the use of cocaine in anesthesiology and proposed the use of rubber gloves during surgery.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

brill in Science


[hôlstĕd′]William Stewart 1852-1922

American surgeon who discovered the technique of local anesthesia by injecting cocaine into specific nerves in 1885. He administered what is believed to be the first blood transfusion in the United States in 1881. Halsted also developed new surgical techniques for treating cancers and other abnormalities and introduced the use of rubber gloves during surgery.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.