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bright idea

A clever thought or plan. For example, John had a bright idea for saving space—we would each have a terminal but share the printer. This term uses bright in the sense of “intelligent” or “quick-witted” and may be employed either straightforwardly, as in the example above, or ironically, as in Jumping in the pool with your clothes on—that was some bright idea. [ Late 1800s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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  • Suddenly a bright idea occurred to him; he opened the window and got out.

  • “How can she hear anything when she—”  A bright idea occurred to Peter.

    Tommy and Co. Jerome K. Jerome
  • The recurrence of this incident apparently struck a bright idea from the simple Zephas.

  • We seemed to have arrived at a cul-de-sac, when a bright idea struck me.

    Seen and Unseen E. Katharine Bates
  • I inquired, as the bright idea occurred to me; “I will return it to him out of my pay and prize-money.”

    Dick Cheveley W. H. G. Kingston

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