noun, verb (used with or without object), lus·tred, lus·tring. Chiefly British.




the state or quality of shining by reflecting light; glitter, sparkle, sheen, or gloss: the luster of satin.
a substance, as a coating or polish, used to impart sheen or gloss.
radiant or luminous brightness; brilliance; radiance.
radiance of beauty, excellence, merit, distinction, or glory: achievements that add luster to one's name.
a shining object, especially one used for decoration, as a cut-glass pendant or ornament.
a chandelier, candleholder, etc., ornamented with cut-glass pendants.
any natural or synthetic fabric with a lustrous finish.
Also called metallic luster. an iridescent metallic film produced on the surface of a ceramic glaze.
Mineralogy. the nature of a mineral surface with respect to its reflective qualities: greasy luster.

verb (used with object)

to finish (fur, cloth, pottery, etc.) with a luster or gloss.

verb (used without object)

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

1. See polish.

Antonyms for luster Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for lustring

Historical Examples of lustring

British Dictionary definitions for lustring


lutestring (ˈluːtˌstrɪŋ)


a glossy silk cloth, formerly used for clothing, upholstery, etc

Word Origin for lustring

C17: from Italian lustrino, from lustro lustre


US luster


reflected light; sheen; gloss
radiance or brilliance of light
great splendour of accomplishment, beauty, etc
a substance used to polish or put a gloss on a surface
a vase or chandelier from which hang cut-glass drops
a drop-shaped piece of cut glass or crystal used as a decoration on a chandelier, vase, etc
  1. a shiny metallic surface on some pottery and porcelain
  2. (as modifier)lustre decoration
mineralogy the way in which light is reflected from the surface of a mineral. It is one of the properties by which minerals are defined


to make, be, or become lustrous
Derived Formslustreless or US lusterless, adjectivelustrous, adjective

Word Origin for lustre

C16: from Old French, from Old Italian lustro, from Latin lustrāre to make bright; related to lustrum
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 lustring



"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.)).



"gloss, radiance;" see luster (n.1).



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

lustring in Science



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.