See more synonyms for illustrious on
  1. highly distinguished; renowned; famous: an illustrious leader.
  2. glorious, as deeds or works: many illustrious achievements.
  3. Obsolete. luminous; bright.

Origin of illustrious

1560–70; < Latin illustri(s) bright, clear, famous (equivalent to illustr(āre) to brighten (see il-1, luster1) + -is adj. suffix) + -ous
Related formsil·lus·tri·ous·ly, adverbil·lus·tri·ous·ness, nounun·il·lus·tri·ous, adjectiveun·il·lus·tri·ous·ly, adverbun·il·lus·tri·ous·ness, noun

Synonyms for illustrious

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for illustriously

Historical Examples of illustriously

  • He fell conspicuously, illustriously, between the reviewers who reviled him, and the public who would have none of him.

    The Creators

    May Sinclair

  • He is the present chieftain of the McGregor clan, which figures so illustriously in the history of Scotland.

    The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Omnibus

    American Anti-Slavery Society

British Dictionary definitions for illustriously


  1. of great renown; famous and distinguished
  2. glorious or greatillustrious deeds
  3. obsolete shining
Derived Formsillustriously, adverbillustriousness, noun

Word Origin for illustrious

C16: from Latin illustris bright, distinguished, famous, from illustrāre to make light; see illustrate
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 illustriously



1560s, from Latin illustris "lighted, bright, brilliant;" figuratively "distinguished, famous," probably a back-formation from illustrare "embellish, distinguish, make famous" (see illustration). Sometimes also illustrous. Replaced illustre in same sense (mid-15c.), from Middle French illustre.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper