- (Received Pronunciation, General American) enPR: brīt, IPA(key): /bɹaɪt/
Audio (GA) (file)
- Rhymes: -aɪt
The adjective is derived from Middle English bright (“giving off much light; of colour or light: brilliant, intense; brightly lit; gleaming, shining; glorious, resplendent; of a person: beautiful, fair, rosy; wonderful; clear; of eyesight: keen; (figuratively) free from sin; enlightened”) [and other forms], from Old English bryht, breht (Northumbrian), a metathetic variant of byrht (Anglian), beorht (West Saxon), berht (“bright, clear”) [and other forms] from Proto-West Germanic *berht, from Proto-Germanic *berhtaz (“bright, shining”), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *bʰereg- (“to gleam, whiten”), *bʰerHǵ- (“to shine”).
The English word is cognate with Albanian bardhë (“white”), Dutch brecht (in personal names), Icelandic bjartur (“bright”), Lithuanian brekšta (“to dawn”), Middle Irish brafad (“blink of an eye”), Norwegian bjart (“bright, clear, shining”), Persian برازیدن (barâzidan, “to beautify; to befit”), Russian бре́зжить (brézžitʹ, “to dawn; to flicker faintly, glimmer; (figuratively) of a hope, thought, etc.: to begin to manifest, emerge”), Sanskrit भ्राजते (bhrājate), Scots bricht (“bright”), Welsh berth (“beautiful, fair, fine”) (obsolete).
- Emitting much light; visually dazzling; luminous, lucent, radiant.
- Could you please dim the light? It’s far too bright.
- 1645, John Milton, “At a Solemn Musick”, in Poems of Mr. John Milton, […], London: […] Ruth Raworth for Humphrey Mosely, […], OCLC 606951673, page 22:
- Where the bright Seraphim in burning row / Their loud up-lifted Angel trumpets blow; / And the Cherubick hoſt in thouſand quires / Touch their immortal Harps of golden wires, […]
- 1667, John Milton, “Book III”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: […] [Samuel Simmons], […], OCLC 228722708; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, OCLC 230729554, lines 372 and 381–382:
- Thee Father firſt they ſung Omnipotent, / […] that brighteſt Seraphim / Approach not, but with both their wings veil thir eyes.
- 1897, Bram Stoker, “Cutting from ‘The Dailygraph,’ 8 August (Pasted in Mina Murray’s Journal.)”, in Dracula, New York, N.Y.: Modern Library, OCLC 688657546, page 95:
- There were very few people about, and though the sun was bright, and the air clear and fresh, the big, grim-looking waves, that seemed dark themselves because the foam that topped them was like snow, forced themselves in through the narrow mouth of the harbour—like a bullying man going through a crowd.
- Of light: brilliant, intense.
- Of an object, surface, etc.: reflecting much light; having a high lustre; gleaming, shiny.
- Of a place: not dark; well-lit.
- 1849, Thomas Babington Macaulay, chapter X, in The History of England from the Accession of James II, volume II, London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, OCLC 1069526323, page 564:
- It was said that the Irish whom [Louis de Duras, 2nd Earl of] Feversham had let loose were marching on London and massacring every man, woman, and child on the road. At one in the morning the drums of the militia beat to arms. […] Before two the capital wore a face of stern preparedness which might well have daunted a real enemy, if such an enemy had been approaching. Candles were blazing at all the windows. The public places were as bright as at noonday.
- Of climate or weather: not cloudy or gloomy; fair; also, of a period of time, the sky, etc.: characterized by much sunshine and good weather.
- 1910, Emerson Hough, “A Lady in Company”, in The Purchase Price: Or The Cause of Compromise, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, OCLC 639762314, page 6:
- Serene, smiling, enigmatic, she faced him with no fear whatever showing in her dark eyes. The clear light of the bright autumn morning had no terrors for youth and health like hers.
- Of a colour: not muted or pale; bold, brilliant, vivid.
- 1838 May, L. M., “The West Fifty Years Since”, in T[homas] W[illis] White, editor, The Southern Literary Messenger: Devoted to Every Department of Literature and the Fine Arts, volume IV, number V, Richmond, Va.: T. W. White, […], OCLC 7370817, chapter II, page 308, column 1:
- Her step was quick; her eye piercing, and of the brightest blue; […]
- Of an object, surface, etc.: having vivid colour(s); colourful.
- The orange and blue walls of the sitting room were much brighter than the dull grey walls of the kitchen.
- a. 1745, Alexander Pope, “Spring. The First Pastoral, or Damon. […]”, in The Works of Alexander Pope Esq. […], London: […] J. and P. Knapton, H. Lintot, J[acob] and R[ichard] Tonson, and S. Draper, published 1751, OCLC 1006960022, lines 31–32, page 12:
- Here the bright crocus and blue vi'let glow; / Here weſtern winds on breathing roſes blow.
- 1897 December (indicated as 1898), Winston Churchill, chapter II, in The Celebrity: An Episode, New York, N.Y.: The Macmillan Company; London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., OCLC 222716698, page 15:
- 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.
- Of a musical instrument, sound, or a voice: clearly audible; clear, resounding, and often high-pitched.
- Of a room or other place: having acoustic qualities that tend to cause much echoing or reverberation of sound, particularly at high frequencies.
- Of a scent or taste: not bland or mild; bold, sharp, strong.
- Of a substance: clear, transparent; also, pure, unadulterated; (specifically) of wine: free of suspended particles; not cloudy; fine.
- Glorious; illustrious.
- In good spirits; happy, optimistic.
- Synonyms: see Thesaurus:happy
- Antonyms: see Thesaurus:sad
- I woke up today feeling so bright that I decided to have a little dance.
- 1937 September 21, J[ohn] R[onald] R[euel] Tolkien, “On the Doorstep”, in The Hobbit: Or There and Back Again, 3rd edition, London: Unwin Books, George Allen & Unwin, published 1966 (1970 printing), →ISBN, page 191:
- 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 [Bilbo Baggins] was no longer much brighter than the dwarves. He would do nothing but sit with his back to the rock-face and stare […].
- Of the face or eyes, or a smile: showing happiness or hopefulness; cheerful, lively.
- Of a person: lively, vivacious.
- c. 1606, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Macbeth”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act III, scene ii], page 140, column 2:
- Come on: / Gentle my Lord, ſleeke o're your rugged Lookes, / Be bright and Iouiall among your Gueſts to Night.
- Of a period of history or time: happy, prosperous, successful.
- She has a bright future ahead.
- Of an opportunity or outlook: having a reasonable chance of success; favourable, good.
- If he trains hard, his chances of winning the competition are bright.
- Of conversation, writing, etc.: imaginative or sparkling with wit; clever, witty.
- Having a clear, quick intellect; intelligent.
- Synonyms: see Thesaurus:intelligent
- Antonyms: see Thesaurus:stupid
- She’s very bright. She was able to solve the problem without my help.
- 1922 February, James Joyce, “[Episode 16: Eumaeus]”, in Ulysses, London: The Egoist Press, published October 1922, OCLC 2297483, page 573:
- ―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, Got stuck twice in the junior at the Christian Brothers.
- 2013 August 3, “Revenge of the nerds: An explosion of start-ups is changing finance for the better”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8847, London: Economist Group, ISSN 0013-0613, OCLC 805074337, archived from the original on 3 August 2013:
- 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.
- Of the eyes: able to see clearly; of eyesight: keen, sharp.
- Manifest to the mind as light is to the eyes; clear, evident, plain.
- 1741, I[saac] Watts, “The Socratical Way of Disputation”, in The Improvement of the Mind: Or, A Supplement to the Art of Logick: […], London: […] James Brackstone, […], OCLC 723474632, paragraph V, page 172:
- [T]he Queriſt muſt not proceed too ſwiftly towards the Determination of his Point propos'd, that he may with more Eaſe, with brighter Evidence, and with ſurer Succeſs draw the Learner on to aſſent to thoſe Principles ſtep by ſtep, from whence the final Concluſion will naturally ariſe.
- (music) Of a rhythm or tempo: lively, upbeat.
- Of a colour: not muted or pale; bold, brilliant, vivid.
- (metallurgy) Of a metal object or surface: lacking any protective coating or surface treatment for the prevention of corrosion.
- 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.
bright (plural brights)
- (archaic or literary)
- Brightness, glow.
- 1667, John Milton, “Book III”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: […] [Samuel Simmons], […], OCLC 228722708; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, OCLC 230729554, lines 372 and 377–381:
- Thee Father firſt they ſung Omnipotent, / […] when thou ſhad'ſt / The full blaze of thy beams, and through a cloud / Drawn round about thee like a radiant Shrine, / Dark with exceſſive bright thy ſkirts appeer, / Yet dazle Heav'n, […]
- (figuratively) Glory, splendour.
- Brightness, glow.
- (chiefly in the plural) Something (especially a product intended for sale) that has vivid colours or a lustrous appearance.
- A person with a naturalistic worldview with no mystical or supernatural elements.
- 2003 June 20, Richard Dawkins, “The future looks bright”, in Alan Rusbridger, editor, The Guardian, London: Guardian News & Media, ISSN 0261-3077, OCLC 229952407, archived from the original on 22 March 2021:
- 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, Daniel C[lement] Dennett, “Breaking Which Spell?”, in Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon, New York, N.Y.: Viking, →ISBN, part I (Opening Pandora’s Box), section 5 (Religion as a Natural Phenomenon), 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. But not I.
- 2008 April, David Aikman, “The Attack of the Four Horsemen”, in The Delusion of Disbelief: Why the New Atheism is a Threat to Your Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness, Carol Stream, Ill.: SaltRiver, Tyndale House Publishers, →ISBN, page 28:
- [Richard] 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.
- (painting) An artist's brush used in acrylic and oil painting with a long ferrule and a flat, somewhat tapering bristle head.
From Middle English brighte (“brightly; (figuratively) brilliantly, lustrously; of colour: boldly, vividly; clearly, distinctly; of voice: loudly”) [and other forms], from Old English breohte, beorhte (West Saxon) [and other forms], ultimately from Proto-Germanic *berhtaz (“bright, shining”); see further at etymology 1.
- (often literary) In a bright manner; brightly, glowingly, luminously, lustrously.
From Middle English brighten (“to illuminate; to become light, dawn; (figuratively) to cleanse, purify; to clarify, explain”) [and other forms], from Old English beorhtian (“to brighten, shine; to sound clearly or loudly”) [and other forms], probably from beorht (“bright, clear”, adjective) (see further at etymology 1) + -ian (suffix forming verbs from adjectives and nouns). Later uses of the word are probably also derived from the adjective.
- (transitive) Often followed by up: to cast light on (someone or something); to brighten, to illuminate.
- (transitive, figuratively) Often followed by up: to cause (someone or something) to be bright (in various senses); to brighten; specifically, to make (someone or something) energetic, or happy and optimistic.
- Synonyms: embrighten (to cause to be bright), enliven (to make energetic), delight, gladden, please (to make happy)
- 1686, J[ohn] Goad, “The Sun, the Great Light, Justly Admired. […]”, in Astro-meteorologica, or, Aphorisms and Large Significant Discourses of the Natures and Influences of the Cœlestial Bodies; […], 2nd edition, London: […] O[badiah] B[lagrave] and sold by John Sprint, […], published 1699, OCLC 165733172, book I, § 2, page 14:
- Toward Mid-day he [the Sun] brighteth the Air into a chearful Saphir, and guildeth the Borders of the very Clouds with a coſtly limbus.
- (intransitive, also figuratively) Often followed by up: to become bright (in various senses); to brighten.
- ^ “bright, adj.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
- ^ Compare “bright, adj. and n.”, in OED Online , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, March 2021; “bright, adj. and n.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.
- ^ “bright, n.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
- ^ “brighte, adv.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
- ^ Compare “bright, adv.”, in OED Online , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2020; “bright, adv.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.
- ^ “bright, v.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
- ^ Compare “bright, v.”, in OED Online , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2020.