American English

Definition of brilliant adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1extremely intelligent or impressive What a brilliant idea! a brilliant performance/invention
  2. 2very successful a brilliant career The play was a brilliant success.
  3. 3(of a person) very intelligent or skillful a brilliant young scientist She has one of the most brilliant minds in the country. Thesaurusintelligentsmart brilliant bright sharpThese words all describe people who are good at learning, understanding, and thinking about things, and the actions that show this ability.intelligent good at learning, understanding, and thinking in a logical way about things; showing this ability:He's a highly intelligent man. She asked a lot of intelligent quick at learning and understanding things; showing the ability to make good business or personal decisions:She's smarter than her brother. That was a smart career move.brilliant extremely intelligent or skillful:She's a brilliant young scientist.bright intelligent; quick to learn:He's probably the brightest student in the class. Bright is used especially to talk about young people. Common collocations of bright include girl, boy, kid, and bright:You're a pretty sharp kid.Patterns a(n) intelligent/smart/brilliant/bright/sharp child/kid/boy/girl a(n) intelligent/smart/brilliant man/woman a(n) intelligent/smart/brilliant thing to do
  4. 4(of light or colors) very bright brilliant sunshine brilliant blue eyes Thesaurusbrightbrilliant vivid vibrantThese words all describe things that are shining or full of light or colors that are strong and easy to see.bright full of light; shining strongly; (of colors) strong and easy to see:a bright yellow dressbrilliant very bright:The sky was a brilliant blue.vivid (approving) (of colors) bright and strong:His eyes were a vivid green.vibrant (approving) (of colors) bright and strong:The room was decorated in vibrant blues and greens.vivid or vibrant?These two words are very similar, but vivid emphasizes how bright a color is, while vibrant suggests a more lively and exciting color or combination of colors.Patterns bright/brilliant/vivid/vibrant colors bright/brilliant light/sunlight/sunshine/eyes
noun [uncountable] There were flashes of brilliance from the soloists, but generally the playing and singing lacked sparkle.
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adverb The plan worked brilliantly. It was brilliantly sunny.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: brilliant