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shining brightly; sparkling; glittering; lustrous:
the brilliant lights of the city.
distinguished; illustrious:
a brilliant performance by a young pianist.
having or showing great intelligence, talent, quality, etc.:
a brilliant technician.
strong and clear in tone; vivid; bright:
brilliant blues and greens; the brilliant sound of the trumpets.
splendid or magnificent:
a brilliant social event.
Jewelry. a gem, especially a diamond, having any of several varieties of the brilliant cut.
Printing. a size of type about 3½-point.
Contemporary Examples

Gal With a Suitcase Jolie Hunt February 25, 2011
10 Books for My Son the Graduate Roxanne Coady June 4, 2012
How I Write: Elena Gorokhova Noah Charney August 1, 2012
World Cup Primer Joshua Robinson June 11, 2010
The Cook, the Laird, his Wife and the Queen Mother Tom Sykes May 14, 2012

Historical Examples

Diana of the Crossways, Complete George Meredith
The Grand Old Man Richard B. Cook
Invention Bradley A. Fiske
A Sketch of the Life of Brig. Gen. Francis Marion William Dobein James
We Can’t Have Everything Rupert Hughes

shining with light; sparkling
(of a colour) having a high saturation and reflecting a considerable amount of light; vivid
outstanding; exceptional: a brilliant success
splendid; magnificent: a brilliant show
of outstanding intelligence or intellect: a brilliant mind, a brilliant idea

(of the tone of an instrument) having a large proportion of high harmonics above the fundamental
Also brilliant (French) (brijɑ̃), brilliante (French) (brijɑ̃t). with spirit; lively

Also called brilliant cut

a popular circular cut for diamonds and other gemstones in the form of two many-faceted pyramids (the top one truncated) joined at their bases
a diamond of this cut

(formerly) a size of a printer’s type approximately equal to 4 point


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