[bril-yuh n-teen]

Origin of brilliantine

1870–75, Americanism; < French brillantine. See brilliant, -ine2
Related formsbril·lian·tined, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for brilliantine

Historical Examples of brilliantine

  • What a gorgeous Nut—all brilliantine, brown polish, and brasso!

    John Brown

    Captain R. W. Campbell

  • There was his little moustache-brush, and phial of brilliantine to burnish it.

  • The barber seemed to replace the pot of brilliantine with regret.

    Poor Relations

    Compton Mackenzie

  • Now it was brushed about his ears, and it glistened as if from some application of brilliantine or other toilet essence.

    Evelyn Innes

    George Moore

  • The man had brilliantine on his hair and moustache, and the latter had been dressed with curling irons!

    The Riddle of the Night

    Thomas W. Hanshew

British Dictionary definitions for brilliantine


  1. a perfumed oil used to make the hair smooth and shiny
  2. mainly US a glossy fabric made of mohair and cotton

Word Origin for brilliantine

C19: from French, from brillant shining
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