Definition of brilliant in English:



  • 1(of light or colour) very bright.

    ‘brilliant sunshine illuminated the scene’
    • ‘The same brilliant smile I've come to recognize, but with a hidden twist to it.’
    • ‘The golden arches continue to shine their brilliant light, and there were the occasional soldiers, but all was at peace.’
    • ‘He slowly opened his eyes and bright rays of brilliant light flashed into his eyes.’
    • ‘The light was alone, shining its brilliant rays into the nothingness.’
    • ‘Then, in the midst of this brilliant light, another light brighter than any light in the natural realm split the sky.’
    • ‘Emma raised her hand, admiring the enormous ring as it sparkled under the brilliant sunlight, flashing radiantly.’
    • ‘Though small and unnoticed at first, the brilliant light grew rapidly, until it completely enveloped the raging battle.’
    • ‘Galina opened it to see two brilliant diamond earrings sparkling back.’
    • ‘The brilliant lights of the buildings outside shone in through the skylight, casting a bright square of light on the floor.’
    • ‘Photo-flashes spat brilliant light at them when they left the theatre.’
    • ‘A light sun shone in the distance, beaming brilliant light onto the Seattle skyline.’
    • ‘Something happened then, it was as if a brilliant ray of light shone down upon him.’
    • ‘Their horns burned white-hot, brilliant in the darkness.’
    • ‘It shone under the brilliant lights of the city as it was held in a transparent cover.’
    • ‘Sparks flew as brilliant lights flared in the distance.’
    • ‘The doors slammed open at the opposite end of the lab and a brilliant light poured in, almost blinding him.’
    • ‘Overhead the sun shone brightly, illuminating the garden with a brilliant ray of light.’
    • ‘Within it, there are a few brilliant, crystal particles.’
    • ‘One is also soothed and warmed by the brilliant sunshine that illuminates the painting.’
    • ‘The nurse nodded, flashing one of her trademark brilliant smiles.’
    bright, shining, blazing, dazzling, light
    vivid, intense, bright, blazing, dazzling
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  • 2Exceptionally clever or talented.

    ‘he was quite brilliant and was promoted almost at once’
    ‘the germ of a brilliant idea hit her’
    • ‘There will just be some special scholarships for the very disadvantaged or the exceptionally brilliant.’
    • ‘The young Lord Burlington was brilliant and precocious.’
    • ‘He's articulate, he's talented, he's brilliant in the music world.’
    • ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’
    • ‘Ty's creating our creature and he's just brilliant.’
    • ‘We'll also be able to take advantage of some of Gotham's most brilliant magazine talent.’
    • ‘He could not be called one of those brilliant minds.’
    • ‘He was just being mindful of his stature as an respectable and esteemed brilliant scientifically oriented mind.’
    • ‘Kimberly, the ingenious lawyer and brilliant mathematician could not figure it out, could not understand it.’
    • ‘Unless he was exceptionally brilliant how could he have completed a four-year course in one?’
    • ‘He was a wealthy young man, a brilliant battle commander, intelligent and witty.’
    • ‘We are returning home weighed down with awards thanks to brilliant talent and skills both on and off screen.’
    • ‘Steiner was brilliant at painting images with music.’
    • ‘He is the most lauded living American film-maker - a beacon of integrity as well as a brilliant talent.’
    • ‘They are clever, even brilliant planners, who are now executing the first blatantly overt phase of their attack.’
    • ‘Such an act is less acting than impersonation unless the writing is inspired and the performer brilliant.’
    • ‘Two brilliant, mature male artists in a tug of war over a half-naked, beautiful young woman.’
    • ‘Its autumn programme, now well under way, includes rising stars, but also some brilliant talent from abroad.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, talented and brilliant men such as Miró started a downward spiral that ended in artistic anarchy.’
    • ‘He was a brilliant navigator, a talented cartographer and a relatively humane captain by the standards of his time.’
    gifted, talented, virtuoso, genius, accomplished, ingenious, masterly, inventive, creative
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    1. 2.1 Outstanding; impressive.
      ‘his brilliant career at Harvard’
      • ‘This was a shame, because the show had a fine cast and scripts that occasionally verged on the brilliant.’
      • ‘But although this untimely death cut short a brilliant career, he still left his mark, both as a soldier and musician.’
      • ‘Meanwhile the character design is of course top and the animation brilliant.’
      • ‘It was a tough call, so Norman did what he had learned to do on all tough calls throughout his brilliant legal career.’
      • ‘She's had such a brilliant and long-lasting career.’
      • ‘These brilliant, emotive tracks make this collection worthwhile.’
      • ‘If only all bars in the world were this brilliant.’
      • ‘He churns out consistently brilliant ideas at amazing speed and clarity.’
      • ‘So after such a brilliant academic career, you returned to India, and worked in a firm and with your father.’
      • ‘I shook my head, finding his suggestion brilliant.’
      • ‘Then a brilliant idea was formed: an art contest.’
      • ‘However, a friend had the brilliant idea to prepare soft shell crabs, which he did for us one evening.’
      • ‘His brief but brilliant career is resurfacing too.’
      • ‘The essay is complex and enthralling, the writing brilliant, the characters utterly fascinating.’
      • ‘Franklin's career was brilliant from the very beginning.’
      • ‘Despite the coarse nature of the fabric, the pieces are delicate, soft to touch and look brilliant.’
      • ‘I was hoping that he would have made a brilliant breakthrough in inventing clever rhymes and stories.’
      • ‘We'll definitely keep an eye on your brilliant career!’
      • ‘College friends thought he could have had a brilliant legal career but for his eccentricities.’
      • ‘But she's got all these great ideas and brilliant scenes and clever lines all mapped out in her head.’
      superb, magnificent, splendid, impressive, remarkable, exceptional, glorious, illustrious
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  • 3British informal Excellent; marvellous.

    ‘we had a brilliant time’
    as exclamation ‘‘Brilliant!’ he declared excitedly’
    • ‘The cast are brilliant; the set fantastic, the sound unbelievable and the lighting and costumes are very much on par.’
    • ‘He has a wonderful wife, a fantastic job and two brilliant children.’
    • ‘It is rock music played by rock fans bearing wicked smiles and it makes me feel brilliant.’
    • ‘You're just so brilliant and you're one of the coolest people ever.’
    • ‘You are brilliant, a wonderful photographer, beautiful, and funny.’
    excellent, marvellous, superb, very good, first-rate, first-class, wonderful, outstanding, exceptional, magnificent, splendid, superlative, matchless, peerless
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  • A diamond of brilliant cut.

    ‘an elegant necklace with four rows of brilliants’
    • ‘The following are all modified brilliants: marquise, heart, oval and pear shape.’
    • ‘Our artist expands it into a bracelet and fastens it with a forget-me-not in turquoises and brilliants.’
    • ‘The headdress was an heirloom that mingled pearls with a few choice brilliants.’
    • ‘When the Prince was presented at court, it was noticed that he wore the portrait of the Empress and that it was ‘set round with brilliants.’’
    gem, gemstone, precious stone, semi-precious stone, stone, brilliant
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Late 17th century: from French brillant ‘shining’, present participle of briller, from Italian brillare, probably from Latin beryllus (see beryl).