- a celestial body, as the sun or moon.
- a body, object, etc., that gives light.
- a person who has attained eminence in his or her field or is an inspiration to others: one of the luminaries in the field of medical science.
- of, relating to, or characterized by light.
Origin of luminary
Examples from the Web for luminaries
At 28, Eleanor Catton became the youngest ever winner of the Booker Prize with her swirling, mesmerizing epic The Luminaries.Hatchet Job of the Year 2014 Shortlist Announced
January 19, 2014
From American presidents to movie stars and journalists, luminaries around the world honor the father of modern South Africa.Bill Clinton: ‘I Will Never Forget My Friend Madiba’
December 5, 2013
The smartest of the overwhelmingly male and European luminaries they ranked was John Stuart Mill, with an estimated IQ of 190.What is a Genius?
November 9, 2013
But gradually Frost was able to lure for interviews senior politicians and luminaries from all sides of public life.‘A Fiery Tribune’
September 1, 2013
Signed by 74 luminaries of widely diverse political points of view, it called for a "new conversation about marriage."Marriage Can Save the Middle Class
February 4, 2013
But beside it the two luminaries of his own world were as pygmies.The Martian
Yet these men were luminaries for the day that brought them forth.Memoir of Rev. Joseph Badger
Elihu G. Holland
The same if either of the luminaries be exactly on the equinoxes.Astrology
In no other country is the wanderer brought so close, as it were, to the luminaries of night.In Search of El Dorado
He there instructed Carlone and Strozzi, two luminaries of this school.The History of Painting in Italy, Vol. V (of 6)
Luigi Antonio Lanzi
- a person who enlightens or influences others
- a famous person
- literary something, such as the sun or moon, that gives off light
- of, involving, or characterized by light or enlightenment
Word Origin and History for luminaries
mid-15c., "lamp, source of (artificial) light," from Old French luminarie (12c.), "lamp, lights, lighting; candles; brightness, illumination," from Late Latin luminare "light, torch, lamp, heavenly body," literally "that which gives light," from Latin lumen (genitive luminis) "light," related to lucere "to shine" (see light (n.)). Sense of "notable person" is first recorded 1690s, though the Middle English word also had a figurative sense of "source of spiritual light, example of holiness."