View synonyms for brilliance


[ bril-yuhns ]


  1. great brightness; luster:

    the brilliance of a fine diamond.

    Synonyms: refulgence, effulgence, radiance

    Antonyms: dullness

  2. excellence or distinction; conspicuous talent, mental ability, etc.

    Synonyms: illustriousness, genius, preeminence

    Antonyms: dullness

  3. splendor, elegance, or magnificence:

    the brilliance of the court of Louis XIV.

  4. Optics. that luminance of a body consisting of its saturation and brightness.


/ ˈbrɪljəns /


  1. great brightness; radiance
  2. excellence or distinction in physical or mental ability; exceptional talent
  3. splendour; magnificence

    the brilliance of the royal court

  4. physics a former term for luminance

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Other Words From

  • over·brilliance noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of brilliance1

First recorded in 1745–55; brilli(ant) + -ance

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Example Sentences

Vincent Van Gogh fell in love with the brilliance of Provence.

The result was as much about the Bears’ issues as about any brilliance by the Saints.

Ohio State had finally taken a lead over Clemson, thanks in large part to the brilliance of Fields, its leader and one of the best quarterbacks in the nation.

Decades later, the brilliance of “Calvin and Hobbes” refuses to dim.

While 2020 might have taken the sheen off of the brilliance of the city’s restaurant scene, 2021 looks to bring back our dining scene stronger than ever.

None of them came close to the brilliance of what Beyoncé had accomplished.

The idea that January 1st initiates a period of new beginning is not a flash of Hallmark brilliance.

The brilliance of this scene, and this season, is that there are no good guys and bad guys.

As TechCrunch pointed out, the brilliance in its bare bones appeal could reach a worth of one billion dollars.

But this soft and greedy subversive organelle is no match for the brilliance of our scientists!

The sand hung in fog-like clouds shrouding the sun, dimming the usual brilliance.

The brilliance of his wife, and her most fascinating colloquial powers, also reflected much luster upon his name.

Her husband became more illustrious through that brilliance she was ever anxious to reflect upon him.

There were countries and seas on a vari-colored map, and one pin-point of brilliance that marked his ever-changing position.

They were still a little perturbed by the brilliance and distraction, and it was as an alien that she moved among them still.


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More About Brilliance

What does brilliance mean?

Brilliance commonly refers to the quality of extreme intelligence. People considered geniuses are often said to possess or display brilliance.

Brilliance is a noun form of the adjective brilliant, which commonly means extremely intelligent but can also mean outstanding, exceptional, or magnificent, as in a brilliant performance. 

These senses of brilliant are based on its more general meaning—shining brightly or sparkling. Bright sunshine can be described as brilliant in this way. A very sparkly gem such as a diamond could also be described as brilliant. Brilliance can be used in these contexts to refer to the brightness or sparkliness of such things.

Brilliant can also be used to mean vivid or vibrant. This sense of the word is especially used to describe colors and sounds that stand out due to being especially strong and clear. Brilliance refers to the quality of such things.

Example: I cannot overstate the brilliance of the performance—it was magnificent in every way.

Where does brilliance come from?

The first records of the word brilliance come from the mid-1700s. It’s a noun form of the adjective brilliant, which comes from the French brillant, meaning “shining,” from the French verb briller, “to shine.”

Brilliant was originally used as a way to describe things that literally shine or sparkle, such as the sun or a diamond. Eventually, it started to be used to describe people whose intellectual brilliance shines like the sun or a diamond.

Brilliant cut diamonds are those that are cut in a way that’s intended to maximize their brilliance—a large number of facets are added in order to better catch the light and reflect it back.

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What are some other forms related to brilliance?

What are some synonyms for brilliance?

What are some words that share a root or word element with brilliance

What are some words that often get used in discussing brilliance?

How is brilliance used in real life?

Brilliance is usually used in a positive way. It’s especially used in the context of very smart people and things that shine.



Try using brilliance!

Which of the following words is NOT a synonym of brilliance?

A. luster
B. brightness
C. gloom
D. luminance