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.

1675–85; < French brillant shining, present participle of briller < Italian brillare to glitter (perhaps derivative of an expressive root); see -ant

brilliantly, adverb
brilliantness, noun
overbrilliant, adjective
overbrilliantly, adverb
quasi-brilliant, adjective
quasi-brilliantly, adverb
unbrilliant, adjective
unbrilliantly, adverb
unbrilliantness, noun

1. See bright.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To quasibrilliant
World English Dictionary
brilliant (ˈbrɪljənt)
1.  shining with light; sparkling
2.  (of a colour) having a high saturation and reflecting a considerable amount of light; vivid
3.  outstanding; exceptional: a brilliant success
4.  splendid; magnificent: a brilliant show
5.  of outstanding intelligence or intellect: a brilliant mind; a brilliant idea
6.  music
 a.  (of the tone of an instrument) having a large proportion of high harmonics above the fundamental
 b.  brilliant, Also: brilliante with spirit; lively
7.  Also called: brilliant cut
 a.  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
 b.  a diamond of this cut
8.  (formerly) a size of a printer's type approximately equal to 4 point
[C17: from French brillant shining, from briller to shine, from Italian brillare, from brilloberyl]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1680s, from Fr. brilliant "sparkling, shining" prp. of briller "to shine" (16c.), from It. brillare "sparkle, whirl," perhaps from V.L. *berillare "to shine like a beryl," from berillus "beryl, precious stone," from L. 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
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