American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adj. Full of light; shining. See Synonyms at bright.
- adj. Relating to or being a hue that has a combination of high lightness and strong saturation.
- adj. Sharp and clear in tone.
- adj. Glorious; magnificent: the brilliant court life at Versailles.
- adj. Superb; wonderful: The soloist gave a brilliant performance.
- adj. Marked by unusual and impressive intellectual acuteness: a brilliant mind; a brilliant solution to the problem. See Synonyms at intelligent.
- n. A precious gem, especially a diamond, finely cut in any of various forms with numerous facets.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Sparkling with light or luster; glittering; bright: as, a brilliant gem; a brilliant dress.
- Figuratively, distinguished by admirable qualities; splendid; shining: as, a brilliant wit; a brilliant achievement.
- Synonyms Lustrous, radiant, effulgent, resplendent, showy, conspicuous.
- Illustrious, notable.
- n. [Cf. F. brillant, a diamond.] The form in which the diamond and other precious stones are cut when intended to be used as ornaments, whenever the shape and cleavage of the uncut stone allow this to be done without too much loss of material. The brilliant is susceptible of many small modifications as regards the size, proportions, and even the number of the facets; but in the most perfect cut there are 58 facets. The general shape of all brilliants is that of two pyramids united at their bases, the upper one being so truncated as to give a large plane surface, the lower one terminating almost in a point. The manner in which the brilliant is derived from the fundamental octahedral form (a in fig. 1) is shown in fig. 1, b and c. The uppermost large flat surface is called the table, and is formed by removing one third of the thickness of the stone; the opposite small end, called the culet or collet, is formed by removing one eighteenth of the thickness of the stone. The girdle is the widest part, and forms the junction-line between the upper part, called the crown, and the lower part, called the pavilion. Fig. 2 shows the top , side , and back views of a modern brilliant cut with 58 facets. T is the table; C, the culet; G, the girdle; A, the templets or bezels (of which there are 4 in all); B, the upper quoins or lozenges (of which there are 4); S, star-facets (of which there are 8 in the crown); E, skill- or half-facets (8 in the crown and the same number in the pavilion); D, cross- or skew-facets (8 in each part); P, pavilion-facets (4 in number); Q, lower or under-side quoins (of which there are 4)—making 58 facets in all. Sometimes extra facets are cut around the culet, making 66 in all. In fig. 3, a and b show top and side views of the single cut, or half brilliant; c is a top view of the old English single cut. In fig. 4, a, b, and c show top, side, and back views of a brilliant with 42 facets. In fig. 5, a, b, and c show top, side, and back views of the split or double brilliant, with 74 facets. In fig. 6, a, b, and c show top, side, and back views of the Portuguese cut, which has two rows of rhomboidal and three rows of triangular facets above and below the girdle. In fig. 7, a gives a side view of the double rose, sometimes called the briolette when several more rows of triangular facets are added. Fig. 8 shows the form and size of the famous Regent diamond, belonging to the government of France. It weighs 136¾ carats, and is generally considered the most valuable diamond known, having been estimated by experts at twelve million francs. It comes very near being a perfect brilliant in form, but is a little too thick or deep for its breadth, while the Koh-i-noor, as cut since it came into the possession of the Queen of England, is too thin or spread. Any gem may be cut in brilliant form; but when the word brilliant is used by itself, it is always understood to mean a diamond.
- n. The smallest regular size of printing-type, about 20 lines to the inch, very rarely used.
- n. This line is set in brilliant.
- n. In the manège, a brisk, high-spirited horse, with stately action.
- n. A bright light used in fireworks.
- n. A cotton fabric with a raised pattern figured in the loom, and with or without a design in colors.
- adj. Shining brightly.
- adj. of a colour Both bright and saturated.
- adj. of a voice or sound having a sharp, clear tone
- adj. Of surpassing excellence.
- adj. Magnificent or wonderful.
- adj. Highly intelligent.
- n. A finely cut gemstone, especially a diamond, having many facets.
- n. printing A small size of type.
- n. A kind of cotton goods, figured on the weaving.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. Sparkling with luster; glittering; very bright.
- adj. Distinguished by qualities which excite admiration; splendid; shining.
- adj. Exceedingly intelligent, or of distinguished accomplishment in a field; -- .
- n. A diamond or other gem of the finest cut, formed into faces and facets, so as to reflect and refract the light, by which it is rendered more brilliant. It has at the middle, or top, a principal face, called the table, which is surrounded by a number of sloping facets forming a bizet; below, it has a small face or collet, parallel to the table, connected with the girdle by a pavilion of elongated facets. It is thus distinguished from the
rosediamond, which is entirely covered with facets on the surface, and is flat below.
- n. (Print.) The smallest size of type used in England printing.
- n. A kind of cotton goods, figured on the weaving.
- adj. of surpassing excellence
- adj. characterized by grandeur
- adj. clear and sharp and ringing
- adj. having or marked by unusual and impressive intelligence
- adj. having striking color
- adj. full of light; shining intensely
- From French brillant, from Medieval Latin as if *berilare ("to sparkle like a beryl or other precious stone"), from Latin berillus, beryllus ("a beryl, gem, eyeglass"), from Ancient Greek βήρυλλος (bērullos, "beryl"). (Wiktionary)
- French brillant, present participle of briller, to shine, from Italian brillare, perhaps from brillo, beryl, from Latin bēryllus; see beryl. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“She is better than good at what she does; the word brilliant comes to mind.”
“‘That is what I call brilliant execution,’ she said.”
“I refused a proposal of marriage last weekwhat they call a brilliant one.”
“This year, the word "brilliant" and the color yellow were selected.”
“Photograph: Viktor Drachev/AFP/Getty Images Alexander Lukashenko said the suspects were held on Tuesday evening in what he described as a "brilliant operation" by police officers and the KGB.”
“Ashcroft admires Hague for what he describes as his brilliant analytical mind, his ability to concentrate while under pressure and his unflappability.”
“Paris - French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Wednesday sent a letter to US President-elect Barack Obama congratulating him on what he called a brilliant victory.”
“FROM MTV. COM: Charlie Kaufman, a screenwriter for whom "brilliant" is the default adjective, is reported to have been displeased in the past with what some directors have done with his scripts (notably George Clooney, with "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind").”
“Within each generation, language grows and evolves, for example, when I was younger ‘wicked’ meant extremely deviant, now it means the opposite – extremely brilliant …. there it goes again, brilliant is a degree of brightness in illumination terms as well as intelligence or knowledge levels.”
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