See more synonyms for luster on
  1. the state or quality of shining by reflecting light; glitter, sparkle, sheen, or gloss: the luster of satin.
  2. a substance, as a coating or polish, used to impart sheen or gloss.
  3. radiant or luminous brightness; brilliance; radiance.
  4. radiance of beauty, excellence, merit, distinction, or glory: achievements that add luster to one's name.
  5. a shining object, especially one used for decoration, as a cut-glass pendant or ornament.
  6. a chandelier, candleholder, etc., ornamented with cut-glass pendants.
  7. any natural or synthetic fabric with a lustrous finish.
  8. Also called metallic luster. an iridescent metallic film produced on the surface of a ceramic glaze.
  9. Mineralogy. the nature of a mineral surface with respect to its reflective qualities: greasy luster.
verb (used with object)
  1. to finish (fur, cloth, pottery, etc.) with a luster or gloss.
verb (used without object)
  1. to be or become lustrous.
Also especially British, lus·tre.

Origin of luster

1515–25; < Middle French lustre < Italian lustro, derivative of lustrare to polish, purify < Latin lūstrāre to purify ceremonially, derivative of lūstrum lustrum
Related formslus·ter·less, adjective

Synonyms for luster

See more synonyms for on
1. See polish.

Antonyms for luster


Also especially British, lus·tre.

Origin of luster

1375–1425; late Middle English lustre < Latin lūstrum. See lustrum


  1. a person who lusts: a luster after power.

Origin of luster

First recorded in 1585–95; lust + -er1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for luster

Contemporary Examples of luster

Historical Examples of luster

  • Her face was sallow and dry, and the luster had gone from her black hair.

  • Holding toward the lamp a glass, clear as crystal, with luster like a gem.

    The Strollers

    Frederic S. Isham

  • He took it up and passed the luster of it slowly through his fingers.

  • Every time I come here I do the best I can to keep the luster to his name.

    The Lure of the Mask

    Harold MacGrath

  • Her lifted veil made a fine mist above the luster of her eyes.

    The Coast of Chance

    Esther Chamberlain

Word Origin and History for luster

"gloss, radiance," 1520s, from Middle French lustre "gloss, radiance" (14c.), common Romanic (cf. Spanish and Portuguese lustre, Rumanian lustru, Italian lustro "splendor, brilliancy"), from Latin lustrare "spread light over, brighten, illumine," related to lucere "shine," lux "light" (see light (n.)).


"one who lusts," 1590s, agent noun from lust (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

luster in Science


  1. The shine from the surface of a mineral. Luster is important in describing different kinds of minerals. It is usually characterized as metallic, glassy, pearly, or dull.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.