• synonyms


[loo-muh-nuh s]
See more synonyms for luminous on Thesaurus.com
  1. radiating or reflecting light; shining; bright.
  2. lighted up or illuminated; well-lighted: the luminous ballroom.
  3. brilliant intellectually; enlightened or enlightening, as a writer or a writer's works: a luminous concept; luminous prose.
  4. clear; readily intelligible: a concise, luminous report.
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Origin of luminous

First recorded in 1400–50; late Middle English word from Latin word lūminōsus. See lumen, -ous
Related formslu·mi·nous·ly, adverblu·mi·nous·ness, nounnon·lu·mi·nous, adjectivenon·lu·mi·nous·ly, adverbnon·lu·mi·nous·ness, nounself-lu·mi·nous, adjectivesem·i·lu·mi·nous, adjectivesem·i·lu·mi·nous·ly, adverbsem·i·lu·mi·nous·ness, nounun·lu·mi·nous, adjectiveun·lu·mi·nous·ly, adverbun·lu·mi·nous·ness, noun


See more synonyms for luminous on Thesaurus.com
1. lucid, radiant, resplendent, brilliant. 3. bright, intelligent. 4. understandable, perspicuous, lucid.


1, 2. dark. 3. stupid. 4. obscure.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for self-luminous

Historical Examples

  • The interior of Jupiter is very hot, but the planet is not self-luminous.

    The Outline of Science, Vol. 1 (of 4)

    J. Arthur Thomson

  • There are self-luminous suns exceeding in number all computation.

  • Herschel thought that both the comet of 1811 and that of 1807 were self-luminous.

  • It is two suns, self-luminous, revolving around each other, and neither able to throw upon its mate the burden of its shining.

    A New Atmosphere

    Gail Hamilton

  • These last appear to be suns in the closing period of existence as self-luminous bodies.

    Curiosities of the Sky

    Garrett Serviss

British Dictionary definitions for self-luminous


  1. radiating or reflecting light; shining; glowingluminous colours
  2. (not in technical use) exhibiting luminescenceluminous paint
  3. full of light; well-lit
  4. (of a physical quantity in photometry) evaluated according to the visual sensation produced in an observer rather than by absolute energy measurementsluminous flux; luminous intensity Compare radiant
  5. easily understood; lucid; clear
  6. enlightening or wise
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Derived Formsluminously, adverbluminousness, noun

Word Origin

C15: from Latin lūminōsus full of light, from lūmen light
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 self-luminous



early 15c., "full of light," from Latin luminosus "shining, full of light," from lumen (genitive luminis) "light," related to lucere "to shine" (see light (n.)). Related: Luminously.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

self-luminous in Medicine


  1. Emitting light, especially emitting self-generated light.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.