brilliant

[bril-yuh nt]

adjective

noun

Jewelry. a gem, especially a diamond, having any of several varieties of the brilliant cut.
Printing. a size of type about 3½-point.

Origin of brilliant

1675–85; < French brillant shining, present participle of briller < Italian brillare to glitter (perhaps derivative of an expressive root); see -ant
Related formsbril·liant·ly, adverbbril·liant·ness, nouno·ver·bril·liant, adjectiveo·ver·bril·liant·ly, adverbqua·si-bril·liant, adjectivequa·si-bril·liant·ly, adverbun·bril·liant, adjectiveun·bril·liant·ly, adverbun·bril·liant·ness, noun

Synonym study

1. See bright.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


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British Dictionary definitions for brilliant

brilliant

adjective

shining with light; sparkling
(of a colour) having a high saturation and reflecting a considerable amount of light; vivid
outstanding; exceptionala brilliant success
splendid; magnificenta brilliant show
of outstanding intelligence or intellecta brilliant mind; a brilliant idea
music
  1. (of the tone of an instrument) having a large proportion of high harmonics above the fundamental
  2. Also: brilliant (French brijɑ̃), brilliante (French brijɑ̃t)with spirit; lively

noun

Also called: brilliant cut
  1. a popular circular cut for diamonds and other gemstones in the form of two many-faceted pyramids (the top one truncated) joined at their bases
  2. a diamond of this cut
(formerly) a size of a printer's type approximately equal to 4 point
Derived Formsbrilliantly, adverb

Word Origin for brilliant

C17: from French brillant shining, from briller to shine, from Italian brillare, from brillo beryl
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 brilliant
adj.

1680s, from French brilliant "sparkling, shining" present participle of briller "to shine" (16c.), from Italian brillare "sparkle, whirl," perhaps from Vulgar Latin *berillare "to shine like a beryl," from berillus "beryl, precious stone," from Latin beryllus (see beryl). In reference to diamonds (1680s) it means a flat-topped cut invented 17c. by Venetian cutter Vincenzo Peruzzi.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper