See also: Bright



From Middle English bright, from Old English bryht, a metathetic variant of byrht, beorht, berht (bright), from Proto-Germanic *berhtaz (compare Scots bricht, Dutch brecht (in personal names), Norwegian bjart, Icelandic bjartur (bright)), from pre-Celtic/Germanic *bʰerHgto (compare Welsh berth (beautiful)), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰereg- (to gleam, whiten). Compare Middle Irish brafad (blink of an eye), Lithuanian brekšta (to dawn), Russian брезг (brezg, dawn, daybreak), Albanian bardhë (white), Persian برازیدن(barâzidan), Sanskrit भ्राजते (bhrájate).


  • enPR: brīt, IPA(key): /bɹaɪt/
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  • Rhymes: -aɪt


bright (comparative brighter, superlative brightest)

  1. Visually dazzling; luminous, lucent, clear, radiant; not dark.
    Could you please dim the light? It's far too bright.
  2. Having a clear, quick intellect; intelligent.
    He's very bright. He was able to solve the problem without my help.
    • 1922 February, James Joyce, “[[Episode 16]]”, in Ulysses, Paris: Shakespeare & Co.; Sylvia Beach, OCLC 560090630; republished London: Published for the Egoist Press, London by John Rodker, Paris, October 1922, OCLC 2297483:
      —Ah, God, Corley replied, sure I couldn't teach in a school, man. I was never one of your bright ones, he added with a half laugh.
    • 2013 August 3, “Revenge of the nerds”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8847:
      Think of banking today and the image is of grey-suited men in towering skyscrapers. Its future, however, is being shaped in converted warehouses and funky offices in San Francisco, New York and London, where bright young things in jeans and T-shirts huddle around laptops, sipping lattes or munching on free food.
  3. Vivid, colourful, brilliant.
    The orange and blue walls of the sitting room were much brighter than the dull grey walls of the kitchen.
    • 1709, Alexander Pope, Pastorals, Spring:
      Here the bright crocus and blue violet grew.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 2, in The Celebrity:
      Sunning himself on the board steps, I saw for the first time Mr. Farquhar Fenelon Cooke. He was dressed out in broad gaiters and bright tweeds, like an English tourist, and his face might have belonged to Dagon, idol of the Philistines.
  4. Happy, in good spirits.
    I woke up today feeling so bright that I decided to have a little dance.
    • 1937, J. R. R. Tolkien, chapter 11, in The Hobbit:
      Their spirits had risen a little at the discovery of the path, but now they sank into their boots; and yet they would not give it up and go away. The hobbit was no longer much brighter than the dwarves. He would do nothing but sit with his back to the rock-face and stare [].
  5. Sparkling with wit; lively; vivacious; cheerful.
  6. Illustrious; glorious.
    • (Can we date this quote by Charles Cotton and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?)
      the brightest annals of a female reign
  7. Clear; transparent.
    • (Can we date this quote by James Thomson and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?)
      From the brightest wines / He'd turn abhorrent.
  8. (archaic) Manifest to the mind, as light is to the eyes; clear; evident; plain.
    • (Can we date this quote by Isaac Watts and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?)
      with brighter evidence, and with surer success


Derived termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

See alsoEdit

English Wikipedia has an article on:


bright (plural brights)

  1. An artist's brush used in oil and acrylic painting with a long ferrule and a flat, somewhat tapering bristle head.
  2. (obsolete) splendour; brightness
  3. (neologism) A person with a naturalistic worldview with no supernatural or mystical elements.
    • 2003 June 20, Richard Dawkins, “The future looks bright”, in The Guardian[1], ISSN 0261-3077:
      Brights constitute 60% of American scientists, and a stunning 93% of those scientists good enough to be elected to the elite National Academy of Sciences (equivalent to Fellows of the Royal Society) are brights.
    • 2006 February 2, Daniel C. Dennett, Breaking the Spell: Religion As a Natural Phenomenon, New York: Viking, →ISBN, OL 3421576M, page 27:
      Many of us brights have devoted considerable time and energy at some point in our lives to looking at the arguments for and against the existence of God, and many brights continue to pursue these issues, hacking away vigorously at the arguments of believers as if they were trying to refute a rival scientific theory.
    • 2008 March 17, Aikman, David, The Delusion of Disbelief: Why the New Atheism Is a Threat to Your Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness, Carol Stream: Tyndale House Publishers, →ISBN, OL 24967138M, page 28:
      Dawkins has received appreciative letters from people who were formerly what he derisively calls "faith-heads" who have abandoned their delusions and come over to the side of the brights, the pleasant green pastures where clear-eyed, brave, bold, and supremely brainy atheists graze contentedly.
    • For more examples of usage of this term, see Citations:bright.
  4. (US, in the plural) The high-beam intensity of motor vehicle headlamps.
    Your brights are on.
    • 1963 July, Schultz, Morton J., “Keeping Your Headlights on the Beam”, in Popular Mechanics, ISSN 0032-4558, page 161:
      Drop your brights as soon as approaching lights appear.
    • 2004 July 18, Rocky Roads, “Re: big rig out of control (Photo)”, in misc.transport.trucking, Usenet[2], message-ID <cdearo$>:
      You can turn your brights on and that helps quite a bit, but you can not leave them on. So you end up driving beyond your headlights more than half the time.
    • 2006 March 31, Godfrey, Linda S., Hunting the American Werewolf: Beast Men in Wisconsin and Beyond, Madison: Trails Books, →ISBN, OL 8804200M, page 139:
      The moment I flashed my brights this animal started to run across the road.