From Latin illūstris (“bright, shining; distinguished, prominent, illustrious”) + -ous (“suffix forming adjectives from nouns, to denote possession or presence of a quality in any degree”). Illūstris is derived from illūstrō (“to brighten, illuminate; to make famous or illustrious”), from in- (“prefix meaning ‘in, inside’”) + lustrō (“to purify by making a sacrifice; to brighten, illuminate”) (from lustrō (“purificatory sacrifice”), possibly ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *lewk- (“bright; to shine”) or *lewh₃- (“to wash”)).
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ɪˈlʌs.tɹɪ.əs/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ɪˈlʌs.tɹi.əs/, /-ˈləs-/
- Hyphenation: il‧lus‧tri‧ous
- Admired, distinguished, respected, or well-known, especially due to past achievements or noble qualities. [from mid 16th c.]
- 1711 December 22, Joseph Addison; Richard Steele, The Spectator, number 255, London: J[acob] and R[ichard] Tonson, OCLC 1026609121; republished in Alexander Chalmers, editor, The Spectator; a New Edition, Carefully Revised, in Six Volumes: With Prefaces Historical and Biographical, volume III, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, 1853, OCLC 191120697, pages 127–128:
- A solid and substantial greatness of soul looks down, with a generous neglect, on the censures and applauses of the multitude, and places a man beyond the little noise and strife of tongues. Accordingly we find in ourselves a secret awe and veneration for the character of one who moves above us, in a regular and illustrious course of virtue, without any regard to our own good or ill opinions of him, to our reproaches or commendations.
- 1843 December 19, Charles Dickens, “Stave V. The End of It.”, in A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas, London: Chapman & Hall, 186, Strand, OCLC 55746801, page 154:
- Really, for a man who had been out of practice for so many years, it was a splendid laugh, a most illustrious laugh. The father of a long, long line of brilliant laughs!
- 1941, Ogden Nash, “The Ant”, in The Face is Familiar: The Selected Verse of Ogden Nash, reprint edition, Garden City, N.Y.: Garden City Publishing Company, OCLC 867002875, page 224:
- The ant has made himself illustrious / Through constant industry industrious. / So what? / Would you be calm and placid / If you were full of formic acid?
- 2017 November 14, Phil McNulty, “England 0 – 0 Brazil”, in BBC Sport, archived from the original on 28 March 2018: