bright

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See also: Bright

English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Bright sunlight (sense 2) seen at Cerro de la Campana in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico.

Etymology 1[edit]

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],[1] 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,[2] from Proto-Germanic *berhtaz (bright, shining), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *bʰereg- (to gleam, whiten), *bʰerHǵ- (to shine).

The noun is derived from Middle English bright (brightness, brilliance; daylight; light), from bright (adjective):[3] see above.

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).

Adjective[edit]

bright (comparative brighter, superlative brightest)

  1. 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.
  2. Of light: brilliant, intense.
  3. Of an object, surface, etc.: reflecting much light; having a high lustre; gleaming, shiny.
    Synonyms: lustrous; see also Thesaurus:shiny
    Antonym: dull
  4. Of a place: not dark; well-lit.
  5. 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.
  6. (figuratively)
    1. Of a colour: not muted or pale; bold, brilliant, vivid.
    2. 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.
    3. Of a musical instrument, sound, or a voice: clearly audible; clear, resounding, and often high-pitched.
    4. Of a room or other place: having acoustic qualities that tend to cause much echoing or reverberation of sound, particularly at high frequencies.
    5. Of a scent or taste: not bland or mild; bold, sharp, strong.
    6. Of a substance: clear, transparent; also, pure, unadulterated; (specifically) of wine: free of suspended particles; not cloudy; fine.
    7. Glorious; illustrious.
      • 1681, Charles Cotton, The Wonders of the Peake, London: [] Joanna Brome, [], OCLC 1227559269, page 16:
        And 'twas the worſt, if not the only ſtain, / I'th' brighteſt Annals of a Female Reign.
    8. 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.
    9. Of the face or eyes, or a smile: showing happiness or hopefulness; cheerful, lively.
      • 1978 October 19, Mike Batt (lyrics and music), “Bright Eyes”, in Fate for Breakfast, published 19 January 1979, performed by Art Garfunkel:
        Bright eyes / Burning like fire / Bright eyes / How can you close and fail? / How can the light that burned so brightly / Suddenly burn so pale? / Bright eyes
    10. Of a person: lively, vivacious.
    11. Of a period of history or time: happy, prosperous, successful.
      She has a bright future ahead.
    12. 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.
    13. Of conversation, writing, etc.: imaginative or sparkling with wit; clever, witty.
    14. 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[1], 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.
    15. (archaic)
      1. Of the eyes: able to see clearly; of eyesight: keen, sharp.
      2. 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.
    16. (music) Of a rhythm or tempo: lively, upbeat.
  7. (metallurgy) Of a metal object or surface: lacking any protective coating or surface treatment for the prevention of corrosion.
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]
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 also[edit]

Noun[edit]

bright (plural brights)

  1. (archaic or literary)
    1. 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, []
    2. (figuratively) Glory, splendour.
  2. (chiefly in the plural) Something (especially a product intended for sale) that has vivid colours or a lustrous appearance.
  3. A person with a naturalistic worldview with no mystical or supernatural elements.
    Synonyms: humanist, nonsupernaturalist
    Antonyms: super, supernaturalist
    Hyponym: atheist
    • 2003 June 20, Richard Dawkins, “The future looks bright”, in Alan Rusbridger, editor, The Guardian[2], 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.
  4. (painting) An artist's brush used in acrylic and oil painting with a long ferrule and a flat, somewhat tapering bristle head.
Translations[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English brighte (brightly; (figuratively) brilliantly, lustrously; of colour: boldly, vividly; clearly, distinctly; of voice: loudly) [and other forms],[4] from Old English breohte, beorhte (West Saxon) [and other forms], ultimately from Proto-Germanic *berhtaz (bright, shining);[5] see further at etymology 1.

Adverb[edit]

bright (comparative more bright, superlative most bright)

  1. (often literary) In a bright manner; brightly, glowingly, luminously, lustrously.
  2. (figuratively)
    1. Referring to colour: with bold or vivid colours; brightly, boldly, vividly.
    2. (archaic) Referring to sight, sound, understanding, etc.: clearly, distinctly; brightly.
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

From Middle English brighten (to illuminate; to become light, dawn; (figuratively) to cleanse, purify; to clarify, explain) [and other forms],[6] 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.[7]

Verb[edit]

bright (third-person singular simple present brights, present participle brighting, simple past and past participle brighted) (chiefly Britain, dialectal)

  1. (transitive) Often followed by up: to cast light on (someone or something); to brighten, to illuminate.
  2. (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.
  3. (intransitive, also figuratively) Often followed by up: to become bright (in various senses); to brighten.
    • 1915, Keith Ringkamp, editor, The Patience Worth Record, volume I, [Morrisville, N.C.]: Lulu.com, published 2008, →ISBN, page 238:
      Day brighteth at the smile o' her and yea, He hath aplanted full o' seed for harvesting by thy loving.
Conjugation[edit]
Translations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ bright, adj.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  2. ^ Compare “bright, adj. and n.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, March 2021; “bright, adj. and n.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.
  3. ^ bright, n.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  4. ^ brighte, adv.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  5. ^ Compare “bright, adv.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2020; “bright, adv.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.
  6. ^ bright, v.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  7. ^ Compare “bright, v.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2020.

Further reading[edit]