AskDefine | Define brilliant

Dictionary Definition

brilliant adj
1 of surpassing excellence; "a brilliant performance"; "a superb actor" [syn: superb]
2 having or marked by unusual and impressive intelligence; "some men dislike brainy women"; "a brilliant mind"; "a brilliant solution to the problem" [syn: brainy, smart as a whip]
3 characterized by or attended with brilliance or grandeur; "the brilliant court life at Versailles"; "a glorious work of art"; "magnificent cathedrals"; "the splendid coronation ceremony" [syn: glorious, magnificent, splendid]
4 having striking color; "bright greens"; "brilliant tapestries"; "a bird with vivid plumage" [syn: bright, vivid]
5 full of light; shining intensely; "a brilliant star"; "brilliant chandeliers"
6 clear and sharp and ringing; "the bright sound of the trumpet section"; "the brilliant sound of the trumpets" [syn: bright]

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. shining brightly
    the brilliant lights along the promenade
  2. In the context of "of a colour": both light and saturated
    butterflies with brilliant blue wings
  3. In the context of "of a voice or sound": having a sharp, clear tone
  4. of surpassing excellence (primarily UK usage)
    The actor's performance in the play was simply brilliant.
  5. magnificent or wonderful (primarily UK usage)
  6. highly intelligent
    She is a brilliant scientist.



shining brightly
of a colour: both light and saturated
of a voice or sound: having a sharp, clear tone
surpassing excellence (primarily UK usage)
magnificent or wonderful (primarily UK usage)
highly intelligent

Related terms

Translations to be checked


  1. a finely cut gemstone, especially a diamond, having many facets
    • 1891: “And the ring?” I asked, glancing at a remarkable brilliant which sparkled upon his finger. — Arthur Conan Doyle, ‘A Case Of Identity’ (Norton 2005 p.76)


finely cut gemstone

Crimean Tatar







Extensive Definition

Brilliant may refer to:



brilliant in German: Brilliant
brilliant in Volapük: Brilliant

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Attic, Daedalian, able, accomplished, adept, adroit, apt, artistic, authoritative, beaming, beautiful, bedazzling, biting, blinding, blooming, brainy, bravura, bright, bright and shining, bright-hued, brim, brink, burning, celebrated, charismatic, clean, clever, colorful, colory, competent, coordinated, coruscating, crack, crackerjack, creative, cunning, cute, daedal, dazzling, deep-colored, deft, devastating, dexterous, dextrous, diplomatic, discerning, distinguished, divine, droll, edge, effulgent, eminent, enlightened, erudite, excellent, exceptional, exotic, expert, facetious, famous, fancy, flamboyant, flaming, fringe, fulgent, fulgid, funny, garish, gay, gay-colored, gifted, glamorous, glaring, glary, glittering, glorious, glowing, good, goodish, gorgeous, graceful, handy, heavenly, hem, high-colored, humorous, humorsome, illustrious, imaginative, incandescent, ingenious, intelligent, intense, jesting, jocose, jocular, joking, joky, joshing, keen, keen-witted, killing, knowing, knowledgeable, lambent, learned, lucent, luminous, lustrous, magic, magisterial, magnificent, margin, masterful, masterly, mordant, neat, nimble, nimble-witted, no dumbbell, no mean, not born yesterday, noted, numinous, outstanding, perimeter, periphery, pointed, politic, professional, proficient, prominent, pungent, quick, quick-thinking, quick-witted, quite some, radiant, rapier-like, raving, ravishing, ready, refulgent, remarkable, renowned, resourceful, resplendent, rich, rich-colored, sage, salt, salty, scintillating, sharp, sharp-witted, shining, skillful, skirt, slick, smart, some, sparkling, splendent, splendid, splendorous, splendrous, sprightly, statesmanlike, steel-trap, striking, stunning, stylish, sublime, superb, tactful, talented, the compleat, the complete, twinkling, verge, virtuoso, vivid, well-done, whimsical, wise, witty, workmanlike
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