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brilliance

[bril-yuh ns] /ˈbrɪl yəns/
noun
1.
great brightness; luster:
the brilliance of a fine diamond.
2.
excellence or distinction; conspicuous talent, mental ability, etc.
3.
splendor, elegance, or magnificence:
the brilliance of the court of Louis XIV.
4.
Optics. that luminance of a body consisting of its saturation and brightness.
Origin of brilliance
1745-1755
1745-55; brilli(ant) + -ance
Related forms
overbrilliance, noun
Synonyms
1. radiance, effulgence, refulgence. 2. illustriousness, preeminence; genius.
Antonyms
1, 2. dullness.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for brilliance
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Also the number of species of birds and insects is extraordinarily great, and their brilliance and beauty quite unusual.

    A Journal from Japan Marie Carmichael Stopes
  • The sun shone with a brilliance that to such eyes as mine was a very mockery.

    Bardelys the Magnificent Rafael Sabatini
  • It had been a brilliant brain, and that very excitability that had lent its brilliance was fatal to it now.

    Six Women Victoria Cross
  • For the brilliance of its social life there were several reasons.

  • Truth has already dispelled many clouds; soon it will shine forth in all its brilliance.

    Joseph Bonaparte John S. C. Abbott
British Dictionary definitions for brilliance

brilliance

/ˈbrɪljəns/
noun
1.
great brightness; radiance
2.
excellence or distinction in physical or mental ability; exceptional talent
3.
splendour; magnificence: the brilliance of the royal court
4.
(physics) a former term for luminance
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
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Word Origin and History for brilliance
n.

1755, from brilliant + -ance. Figurative sense (of wit, intelligence, etc.) is from 1779. Distinguished from brilliancy in that the latter usually is applied to things measurable in degrees.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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14
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