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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for lusterless

Contemporary Examples of lusterless

  • The animal was so underfed that his ribs were showing under his lusterless chestnut coat.

  • Lowden has yet to announce her candidacy; when she does, she will face a pool of lusterless no-names in the primary.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Giving Harry Hell

    Sally Denton

    September 3, 2009

Historical Examples of lusterless

  • The plumes of the wings are set studiously in their places,—they, also, lusterless.

  • Her lusterless eyes were fired by the only thing that could fire them: her bitter jealousy.

    Hidden Gold

    Wilder Anthony

  • The man lay upon his back and stared upward with lusterless eyes.

    Christ Legends

    Selma Lagerlf

  • Her heavy coat no longer shone with gloss but lay flat and lusterless.

  • Her large and lusterless eyes gazed at them with indifference.


    Molly Elliot Seawell

Word Origin and History for lusterless



"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

lusterless 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.