Definition of brilliant in English:



  • 1(of light or colour) very bright.

    ‘brilliant sunshine illuminated the scene’
    • ‘One is also soothed and warmed by the brilliant sunshine that illuminates the painting.’
    • ‘Within it, there are a few brilliant, crystal particles.’
    • ‘The nurse nodded, flashing one of her trademark brilliant smiles.’
    • ‘The light was alone, shining its brilliant rays into the nothingness.’
    • ‘The doors slammed open at the opposite end of the lab and a brilliant light poured in, almost blinding him.’
    • ‘Though small and unnoticed at first, the brilliant light grew rapidly, until it completely enveloped the raging battle.’
    • ‘He slowly opened his eyes and bright rays of brilliant light flashed into his eyes.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The golden arches continue to shine their brilliant light, and there were the occasional soldiers, but all was at peace.’
    • ‘Sparks flew as brilliant lights flared in the distance.’
    • ‘The same brilliant smile I've come to recognize, but with a hidden twist to it.’
    • ‘Photo-flashes spat brilliant light at them when they left the theatre.’
    • ‘The brilliant lights of the buildings outside shone in through the skylight, casting a bright square of light on the floor.’
    • ‘Galina opened it to see two brilliant diamond earrings sparkling back.’
    • ‘Overhead the sun shone brightly, illuminating the garden with a brilliant ray of light.’
    • ‘It shone under the brilliant lights of the city as it was held in a transparent cover.’
    • ‘Emma raised her hand, admiring the enormous ring as it sparkled under the brilliant sunlight, flashing radiantly.’
    • ‘Then, in the midst of this brilliant light, another light brighter than any light in the natural realm split the sky.’
    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.’
    • ‘Unless he was exceptionally brilliant how could he have completed a four-year course in one?’
    • ‘The young Lord Burlington was brilliant and precocious.’
    • ‘Kimberly, the ingenious lawyer and brilliant mathematician could not figure it out, could not understand it.’
    • ‘Steiner was brilliant at painting images with music.’
    • ‘Ty's creating our creature and he's just brilliant.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, talented and brilliant men such as Miró started a downward spiral that ended in artistic anarchy.’
    • ‘Two brilliant, mature male artists in a tug of war over a half-naked, beautiful young woman.’
    • ‘He was a brilliant navigator, a talented cartographer and a relatively humane captain by the standards of his time.’
    • ‘Such an act is less acting than impersonation unless the writing is inspired and the performer brilliant.’
    • ‘He is the most lauded living American film-maker - a beacon of integrity as well as a brilliant talent.’
    • ‘Its autumn programme, now well under way, includes rising stars, but also some brilliant talent from abroad.’
    • ‘They are clever, even brilliant planners, who are now executing the first blatantly overt phase of their attack.’
    • ‘We are returning home weighed down with awards thanks to brilliant talent and skills both on and off screen.’
    • ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’
    • ‘He was just being mindful of his stature as an respectable and esteemed brilliant scientifically oriented mind.’
    • ‘He was a wealthy young man, a brilliant battle commander, intelligent and witty.’
    • ‘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's articulate, he's talented, he's brilliant in the music world.’
    gifted, talented, virtuoso, genius, accomplished, ingenious, masterly, inventive, creative
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    1. 2.1 Outstanding; impressive.
      ‘his brilliant career at Harvard’
      • ‘Meanwhile the character design is of course top and the animation 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.’
      • ‘Despite the coarse nature of the fabric, the pieces are delicate, soft to touch and look brilliant.’
      • ‘College friends thought he could have had a brilliant legal career but for his eccentricities.’
      • ‘The essay is complex and enthralling, the writing brilliant, the characters utterly fascinating.’
      • ‘She's had such a brilliant and long-lasting career.’
      • ‘We'll definitely keep an eye on your brilliant career!’
      • ‘This was a shame, because the show had a fine cast and scripts that occasionally verged on the brilliant.’
      • ‘Then a brilliant idea was formed: an art contest.’
      • ‘Franklin's career was brilliant from the very beginning.’
      • ‘His brief but brilliant career is resurfacing too.’
      • ‘It was a tough call, so Norman did what he had learned to do on all tough calls throughout his brilliant legal career.’
      • ‘I was hoping that he would have made a brilliant breakthrough in inventing clever rhymes and stories.’
      • ‘But although this untimely death cut short a brilliant career, he still left his mark, both as a soldier and musician.’
      • ‘If only all bars in the world were this brilliant.’
      • ‘I shook my head, finding his suggestion brilliant.’
      • ‘These brilliant, emotive tracks make this collection worthwhile.’
      • ‘But she's got all these great ideas and brilliant scenes and clever lines all mapped out in her head.’
      • ‘However, a friend had the brilliant idea to prepare soft shell crabs, which he did for us one evening.’
      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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The cast are brilliant; the set fantastic, the sound unbelievable and the lighting and costumes are very much on par.’
    • ‘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 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.’’
    • ‘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.’
    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).