Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Shining or lustrous; brilliant.
  • adj. Admired by many; illustrious.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. shining; glossy; lustrous
  • adj. Very conspicuous; illustrious.
  • adj. splendid, marvellous, wonderful

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Shining; glossy; beaming with light; lustrous. See the Note under 3d luster, 4.
  • adj. Very conspicuous; illustrious.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Shining; resplendent; beaming with light; specifically, in entom., mineral., etc., having a very bright metallic luster; reflecting light intensely, as the elytra of some beetles, or the luster of galena. Compare iridescent.
  • Very conspicuous; illustrious.

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French esplendent, from Latin splendēns, splendent-, present participle of splendēre, to shine.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Latin splendens, splendentis, present participle of splendere ("to shine"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • "It was all totally unexpected," gushes Elayne splendent in ostrich-feather-trimmed red velveteen.

    It's A Naugahyde Thing

  • Yes, knighthood is absurd: and chivalry an idiotic superstition: and Sir Walter Manny was a zany: and Nelson, with his flaming stars and cordons, splendent upon a day of battle, was a madman: and

    Roundabout Papers

  • The lustre of this is the true "adamantine," or diamond, brilliancy, and the other and impure divisions of this particular lustre are: _splendent_, when objects are reflected perfectly, but of a lower scale of perfection than the true

    The Chemistry, Properties and Tests of Precious Stones

  • But it was not the splendent aspect of this unexpected bivouac itself so much as the colors and designs of the flags and banners floating above which aroused the wonderment of the tillers of the soil.

    Under the Rose

  • Even when he gazed into her blue eyes he was conscious of a more flaming glory than lay in the heavens of their depths; a splendent maze that shed a brightness around her.

    Under the Rose

  • Nouell, wherein as you haue hearde, bee contayned the straunge aduentures of a fayre and innocente Duchesse: whose life tried like gould in the fornace, glittereth at this daye like a bright starry planet, shining in the firmament with moste splendent brightnesse aboue all the rest, to the eternal prayse of feminine kinde.

    The Palace of Pleasure, Volume 1

  • After the triumph followed the faire Parthenopeian _Leria_, with a lawrell crowne, accompanied with _Melanthia_, whose habites and voices represented the pride of Greece, [A] whereupon the great Macedon rested his head: She bare a splendent lampe, communicating the light thereof with hir companion, then the rest more excellent both in voice and song.

    Hypnerotomachia The Strife of Loue in a Dreame

  • Damnation, I am contented, and resolve to sign it: but thinking by himself, with a Will all this may be broken, and new made again: hardly beleeving, that this fair weather, should be darkned with black clouds; or that this splendent Serenissimo, would be obstructed by

    The Ten Pleasures of Marriage and the Second Part, The Confession of the New Married Couple

  • He stood quite still, a figure orgulous and splendent.

    Zuleika Dobson

  • And in she stepped splendent, to stand like a Nubian woman, with that retreat of the hips, her ears torn with their load of gold, her throat and breast ablaze, she bringing into that English court the gaudy heat of the Orient, Baal and Astarté, orgies of Hindoo women in temples of Parvati, the pallid passion of Bacchantes.

    The Lord of the Sea

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