"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[bril-yuh nt] /ˈbrɪl yənt/
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.
Origin of brilliant
1675-85; < French brillant shining, present participle of briller < Italian brillare to glitter (perhaps derivative of an expressive root); see -ant
Related forms
brilliantly, adverb
brilliantness, noun
overbrilliant, adjective
overbrilliantly, adverb
quasi-brilliant, adjective
quasi-brilliantly, adverb
unbrilliant, adjective
unbrilliantly, adverb
unbrilliantness, noun
1. See bright. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for brilliant
  • But he also joined a gift for quick, clever, complex dialogue with a brilliant comedic physicality.
  • Some clones turn a brilliant, shining yellow that almost seems to generate sunlight.
  • He's an extremely talented politician, articulate and intelligent, and brilliant at the more vulgar end of empathizing.
  • The bright red leaves of autumn deliver more nutrients to the trees than they would without the brilliant coloration.
  • What a brilliant idea.
  • His mother had been in her youth a brilliant society woman, .
  • The space shuttle took flight before dawn, igniting the sky with a brilliant flash seen for miles around.
  • Dazed by the brilliant light of their new world, the girls walk through green grass, under pure white clouds.
  • These sluglike invertebrates come in a host of brilliant hues and patterns.
  • That answer is so brilliant, I'm going to add it to the list.
British Dictionary definitions for brilliant


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
  1. (of the tone of an instrument) having a large proportion of high harmonics above the fundamental
  2. Also brilliant (French) (brijɑ̃), brilliante (French) (brijɑ̃t). with spirit; lively
Also called brilliant cut
  1. 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
  2. a diamond of this cut
(formerly) a size of a printer's type approximately equal to 4 point
Derived Forms
brilliantly, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from French brillant shining, from briller to shine, from Italian brillare, from brilloberyl
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for brilliant

1680s, from French brilliant "sparkling, shining" present participle of briller "to shine" (16c.), from Italian brillare "sparkle, whirl," perhaps from Vulgar Latin *berillare "to shine like a beryl," from berillus "beryl, precious stone," from Latin beryllus (see beryl). In reference to diamonds (1680s) it means a flat-topped cut invented 17c. by Venetian cutter Vincenzo Peruzzi.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for brilliant



Excellent: Go outside for lunch? Brilliant!

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source
brilliant in Technology

One of five pedagogical languages based on Markov algorithms, used in ["Nonpareil, a Machine Level Machine Independent Language for the Study of Semantics", B. Higman, ULICS Intl Report No ICSI 170, U London (1968)].
See also Diamond, Nonpareil, Pearl, Ruby.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for brilliant

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for brilliant

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with brilliant

Nearby words for brilliant