[ri-fuhl-juh nt]


shining brightly; radiant; gleaming: Crystal chandeliers and gilded walls made the opera house a refulgent setting for the ball.

Origin of refulgent

First recorded in 1500–10, refulgent is from the Latin word refulgent- (stem of refulgēns, present participle of refulgēre to radiate light). See re-, fulgent
Related formsre·ful·gence, re·ful·gen·cy, re·ful·gent·ness, nounre·ful·gent·ly, adverbun·re·ful·gent, adjectiveun·re·ful·gent·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for refulgence

Historical Examples of refulgence

  • If the children looked brilliant to Pop he did not reflect their refulgence.

    In a Little Town

    Rupert Hughes

  • Brock shone with a refulgence that bedimmed all expectations.

    The Husbands of Edith

    George Barr McCutcheon

  • Then suppose that after twenty-four hours the sun should burst upon us in all his refulgence and glorious magnificence.

    Biography of a Slave

    Charles Thompson

  • Her eyes were open now, and the refulgence falling around her from the burning cedar, seemed like the glory of heaven.

    Mabel's Mistake

    Ann S. Stephens

  • La Petite Mer is in full view, the opposite shore lost in the refulgence of a reflected glow, as if it were the open sea itself.

    Rambles on the Riviera

    Francis Miltoun

British Dictionary definitions for refulgence



literary shining, brilliant, or radiant
Derived Formsrefulgence or rare refulgency, nounrefulgently, adverb

Word Origin for refulgent

C16: from Latin refulgēre to shine brightly, from re- + fulgēre to shine
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 refulgence

1630s, from Latin refulgentia "reflected luster, splendor," from refulgens (see refulgent). Related: Refulgency (1610s).



c.1500, from Middle French refulgent or directly from Latin refulgentem (nominative refulgens), present participle of refulgere "flash back, shine brilliantly," from re- "back" (see re-) + fulgere "to shine" (see bleach (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper