Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Emitting light, especially in the dark; shining.
  • adjective Reflecting light; illuminated: synonym: bright.
  • adjective Having a high degree of saturation.
  • adjective Presented or perceived clearly or vividly.
  • adjective Enlightened or intelligent.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Radiating or reflecting light; giving out light, whether as an original or as a secondary source; illuminating; shining; radiant; bright.
  • Producing or adapted to produce light; having the power of yielding light.
  • Lighted up; illuminated; bright; clear; resplendent; rendering an effect of lightness or brightness, as a work of art or a color.
  • Figuratively, brilliant; bright or resplendent to the mind.
  • Clear or evident to the mind, as if emitting light or as if illuminated; of such a nature as to be readily apprehended by the understanding.
  • Characterized by perspicuity of thought: as, a luminous intellect

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Shining; emitting or reflecting light; brilliant; bright
  • adjective Illuminated; full of light; bright.
  • adjective Enlightened; intelligent; also, clear; intelligible.
  • adjective a paint made up with some phosphorescent substance, as sulphide of calcium, which after exposure to a strong light is luminous in the dark for a time.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective emitting light; glowing brightly
  • adjective brightly illuminated

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective softly bright or radiant

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Old French lumineux, from Latin lūminōsus, from lūmen, lūmin-, light; see leuk- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin luminosus.

Examples

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  • "When I had finished sleeping, tempted by the sunlit sky but held back by the chill of those last autumn mornings, so luminous and so cold, which herald winter, in order to look at the trees on which the leaves were indicated now only by a few strokes of gold or pink which seemed to have been left in the air, on an invisible web, I raised my head from the pillow and stretched my neck, keeping my body still hidden beneath the bedclothes; like a chrysalis in the process of metamorphosis, I was a dual creature whose different parts were not adapted to the same environment; for my eyes, colour was sufficient, without warmth; my chest on the other hand was anxious for warmth and not for colour."

    --The Guermantes Way by Marcel Proust, translated by C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin, Revised by D.J. Enright, p 111 of the Modern Library paperback edition

    August 4, 2008

  • "But the latter has obtained promotion, has been transferred to the other end of the country; the solitary will no longer be able to go and ask him the times of the trains or the price of a first-class ticket, and, before retiring to dream, Griselda-like, in his tower, loiters upon the beach, a strange Andromeda whom no Argonaut will come to free, a sterile jellyfish that must perish on the sand, or else he stands idly on the platform until his train leaves, casting over the crowd of passengers a look that will seem indifferent, disdainful or abstracted to those of another race, but, like the luminous glow with which certain insects bedeck themselves in order to attract others of their species, or like the nectar which certain flowers offer to attract the insects that will fertilise them, would not deceive the connoisseur (barely possible to find) of a pleasure too singular, too hard to place, which is offered him, the confrère with whom our specialist could converse in the strange tongue—in which at best some ragamuffin on the platform will put up a show of interest, but for material gain alone, like those people who, at the Collège de France, in a room in which the Professor of Sanskrit lectures without an audience, attend his course only for the sake of keeping warm."

    --Sodom and Gomorrah by Marcel Proust, translated by C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin, revised by D.J. Enright, p 36 of the Modern Library paperback edition

    January 24, 2009

  • "But I could not bear to have before my eyes those sea vistas on which my grandmother used to gaze for hours on end; the fresh image of their heedless beauty was at once supplemented by the thought that she could not see them; I should have liked to stop my ears against their sound, for now the luminous plenitude of the beach carved out an emptiness in my heart; everything seemed to me to be saying, like those paths and lawns of a public garden in which I had once lost her, long ago, when I was still a little child: 'We haven't seen her,' and beneath the roundness of the pale vault of heaven I felt crushed as though beneath a huge bluish bell enclosing an horizon from which my grandmother was excluded."

    --Sodom and Gomorrah by Marcel Proust, translated by C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin, revised by D.J. Enright, p 219 of the Modern Library paperback edition

    February 21, 2009

  • "I had noticed on the beach a handsome young woman, slender and pale, whose eyes, round their centre, scattered rays so geometrically luminous that one was reminded, on meeting her gaze, of some constellation."

    --Sodom and Gomorrah by Marcel Proust, translated by C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin, revised by D.J. Enright, p 338 of the Modern Library paperback edition

    March 8, 2009

  • "Often, in the hall of the Casino, when two girls were smitten with mutual desire, a sort of luminous phenomenon occurred, as it were a phosphorescent trail flashing from one to the other."

    "I had noticed on the beach a handsome young woman, slender and pale, whose eyes, round their centre, scattered rays so geometrically luminous that one was reminded, on meeting her gaze, of some constellation."

    --Sodom and Gomorrah by Marcel Proust, translated by C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin, revised by D.J. Enright, p 339 of the Modern Library paperback edition

    March 8, 2009

  • "I should have preferred not to set out so early; the luminous and burning air provoked thoughts of indolence and cool retreats. It filled my mother's room and mine, according to their exposure, at varying temperatures, like rooms in a Turkish bath."

    --Sodom and Gomorrah by Marcel Proust, translated by C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin, revised by D.J. Enright, p 534 of the Modern Library paperback edition

    March 24, 2009

  • "I do not say that a day will not come when, even to these luminous girls, we shall assign sharply defined characters, but that will be because they will have ceased to interest us, because their entry upon the scene will no longer be, for our heart, the apparition which it expected to be different and which, each time, leaves it overwhelmed by fresh incarnations."

    --The Captive & The Fugitive by Marcel Proust, translated by C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin, revised by D.J. Enright, p 79 of the Modern Library paperback edition

    December 29, 2009

  • "It was definitive, for the lady had returned perhaps to Balbec, had registered perhaps, on the luminous and echoing beach, the absence of Albertine; but she was unaware that the girl was living with me, was wholly mine."

    --The Captive & The Fugitive by Marcel Proust, translated by C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin, revised by D.J. Enright, p 226 of the Modern Library paperback edition

    January 11, 2010

  • "The carriage drove off. I remained for a moment alone on the pavement. It was true that I endowed those luminous streaks which I could see from below, and which to anyone else would have seemed quite superficial, with the utmost plenitude, solidity, and volume, because of all the significance that I placed behind them, in a treasure unsuspected by the world which I had hidden there and from which those horizontal rays emanated, but a treasure in exchange for which I had forfeited my freedom, my solitude, my thought."

    --The Captive & The Fugitive by Marcel Proust, translated by C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin, revised by D.J. Enright, pp 444-445 of the Modern Library paperback edition

    February 7, 2010

  • "So that, as I raised my eyes for one last look from the outside at the window of the room in which I should presently find myself, I seemed to behold the luminous gates which were about to close behind me and of which I myself had forged, for an eternal slavery, the inflexible bars of gold."

    --The Captive & The Fugitive by Marcel Proust, translated by C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin, revised by D.J. Enright, p 445 of the Modern Library paperback edition

    February 7, 2010