adjective, bright·er, bright·est.

  1. radiating or reflecting light; luminous; shining: The bright coins shone in the gloom.
  2. filled with light: The room was bright with sunshine.
  3. vivid or brilliant: a bright red dress; bright passages of prose.
  4. quick-witted or intelligent: They gave promotions to bright employees.
  5. clever or witty, as a remark: Bright comments enlivened the conversation.
  6. animated; lively; cheerful: a bright and happy child; a bird’s bright song.
  7. characterized by happiness or gladness: All the world seems bright and gay.
  8. favorable or auspicious: bright prospects for the future.
  9. radiant or splendid: the bright pageantry of court.
  10. illustrious or glorious, as an era: the bright days of the Renaissance.
  11. clear or translucent, as liquid: The bright water trickled through his fingers.
  12. having a glossy, glazed, or polished finish.
  13. intensely clear and vibrant in tone or quality; clear and sharp in sound: a bright singing voice.


  1. brights,
    1. the automobile or truck headlights used for driving at night or under conditions of decreased visibility.
    2. the brighter level of intensity of these lights, usually deflected upward by switching on a bulb in the headlamp that strikes the lens at a different angle.
  2. flue-cured, light-hued tobacco.
  3. an artist’s paintbrush having short, square-edged bristles.
  4. Archaic. brightness; splendor.

adverb, bright·er, bright·est.

  1. in a bright manner; brightly.


  1. John . 1811–89, British liberal statesman, economist, and advocate of free trade: with Richard Cobden he led the Anti-Corn-Law League (1838–46)


  1. emitting or reflecting much light; shining
  2. (of colours) intense or vivid
  3. full of promisea bright future
  4. full of animation; cheerfula bright face
  5. informal quick witted or clevera bright child
  6. magnificent; gloriousa bright victory
  7. polished; glisteninga bright finish
  8. (of the voice) distinct and clear
  9. (of a liquid) translucent and cleara circle of bright water
  10. bright and early very early in the morning


  1. a thin flat paintbrush with a straight sharp edge used for highlighting in oil painting
  2. poetic brightness or splendourthe bright of his armour


  1. brightlythe fire was burning bright

adj.Old English bryht, by metathesis from beorht “bright; splendid; clear-sounding; beautiful; divine,” from Proto-Germanic *berhta- “bright” (cf. Old Saxon berht, Old Norse bjartr, Old High German beraht, Gothic bairhts “bright”), from PIE root *bhereg- “to gleam, white” (cf. Sanskrit bhrajate “shines, glitters,” Lithuanian breksta “to dawn,” Welsh berth “bright, beautiful”). Meaning “quick-witted” is from 1741. In addition to the idioms beginning with bright

  • bright and early
  • bright idea
  • bright side
  • also see:

  • look on the bright side
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