- 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 luminary
Wish I knew the name of the luminary raising hell for me this morning!The Treasure Trail
Marah Ellis Ryan
"Then I should say that for a luminary of science your light is very limited," returned Hermione.Paul Patoff
F. Marion Crawford
And for the same reason we have to place the foot of the luminary on the horizon.The Theory and Practice of Perspective
George Adolphus Storey
The dimensions of our luminary are commensurate with his importance.The Story of the Heavens
Robert Stawell Ball
Then she extinguished the fourth, so that the only luminary left in the room was the lamp.The Indifference of Juliet
Grace S. Richmond
- 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 luminary
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."