a burst of sunlight; a sudden shining of the sun through rifted clouds.
a firework, piece of jewelry, ornament, or the like, resembling the sun with rays issuing in all directions.


Sewing. sewn or made to resemble a sunburst; having the rays or lines of design flared from a central point: sunburst pleats; sunburst tucks.

Origin of sunburst

First recorded in 1810–20; sun + burst Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sunburst

Historical Examples of sunburst

  • It was the dancing waters of the Kalamalka Lake under a sunburst.

  • Then he listened to the dialogue, which had nothing to do with “The Sunburst Trail.”

    Northern Lights

    Gilbert Parker

  • The sunburst, after so long and dark a night, must needs have had a dazzling effect.

    Looking Backward

    Edward Bellamy

  • There is a sunburst upon the chest of a white or fulvous hue.

    True Bear Stories

    Joaquin Miller

  • To see the cheerfulness of his countenance when he came in was like the sunburst on a leaden sea.


    Neil Munro

British Dictionary definitions for sunburst



a burst of sunshine, as through a break in the clouds
a pattern or design resembling that of the sun
a jewelled brooch with this pattern
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