luster

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See also: Luster and Lüster

English[edit]

It has been requested that this entry be merged with lustre(+).

Alternative forms[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle French lustre, from Old Italian lustro, from Old Italian lustrare (brighten), from Latin lūstrō (to purify, to brighten), from Latin lūstrum (purification ritual)

Noun[edit]

luster (countable and uncountable, plural lusters) (American spelling)

  1. The ability or condition of shining when light is applied, inclusive of shine, sheen, polish, gloss, sparkle, etc.
    metallic luster... pearly luster... the diamond's luster...
    • 1596, Edmund Spenser, “Book V, Canto XI”, in The Faerie Queene. [], London: [] [John Wolfe] for William Ponsonbie, →OCLC:
      And over all the fields themselves did muster,
      With bils and glayves making a dreadfull luster;
      That forst at first those knights backe to retyre:
      As when the wrathfull Boreas doth bluster,
      Nought may abide the tempest of his yre,
      Both man and beast doe fly, and succour doe inquyre.
      Indianapolis: Hackett, 2006, p. 162
    • c. 1603–1606, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of King Lear”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act III, scene vii]:
      First Servant: O, I am slain! My lord, you have one eye left
      To see some mischief on him. O! [Dies.
      Cornwall: Lest it see more, prevent it. Out, vile jelly!
      Where is thy lustre now?
      Gloucester: All dark and comfortless.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book IV”, in Paradise Lost. [], London: [] [Samuel Simmons], [], →OCLC; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: [], London: Basil Montagu Pickering [], 1873, →OCLC, lines 846-850:
      [] abashed the devil stood,
      And felt how awful goodness is, and saw
      Virtue in her shape how lovely, saw, and pined
      His loss; but chiefly to find here observed
      His lustre visibly impaired; yet seemed
      Undaunted. []
    • 1717, Joseph Addison, Metamorphoses Book III, The Story of Cadmus, [1]
      The scorching sun was mounted high, / In all its lustre, to the noonday sky.
    • 1810, William Blake, Milton: A Poem in Two Books, Book I, 1-5:
      Daughters of Beulah! Muses who inspire the Poet’s Song!
      Record the journey of immortal Milton through your realms
      Of terror & mild moony lustre, in soft sexual delusions
      Of varied beauty, to delight the wanderer and repose
      His burning thirst & freezing hunger! []
    • 1914 June, James Joyce, “The Dead”, in Dubliners, London: Grant Richards, →OCLC:
      Gabriel coloured as if he felt he had made a mistake and, without looking at her, kicked off his goloshes and flicked actively with his muffler at his patent-leather shoes. [] When he had flicked lustre into his shoes he stood up and pulled his waistcoat down more tightly on his plump body.
    • 1922, E. R. Eddison, The Worm Ouroboros, Chapter VIII,[2]:
      The canopy above the bed was a mosaic of tiny stones, jet, serpentine, dark hyacinth, black marble, bloodstone, and lapis lazuli, so confounded in a maze of altering hue and lustre that they might mock the palpitating sky of night.
    • 2001, James Wood, Introduction to Saul Bellow, Collected Stories, New York: Viking, p. xvii,
      Curiously enough, the stream of consciousness, for all its reputation as the great accelerator of description, actually slows down realism, asks it to dawdle over tiny remembrances, tiny details and lusters, to circle and return.
  2. (figurative) Shining light, luminosity, brightness, shine.
    the sun's luster... the luster of the minor stars...
  3. (figurative) Shining beauty, splendor, attractiveness or attraction.
    After so many years in the same field, the job had lost its luster.
    • 1730, James Thomson, “Autumn”, in Seasons, section 186:
      When Autumn's yellow lustre gilds the world...
    • 1970, S.Y. Agnon, "Agunot" in Twenty-One Stories, New York: Schocken Books, p. 30,
      Their days of rest are wrested from them, their feasts are fasts, their lot is dust instead of luster.
    • 1971, Cynthia Ozick, “The Butterfly and the Traffic Light”, in Collected Stories, London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, published 2006, page 288:
      But Main, High, and Central have no past; rather, their past is now. It is not the fault of the inhabitants that nothing has gone before them. Nor are they to be condemned if they make their spinal streets conspicuous, and confer egregious lustre and false acclaim on Central, High, or Main, and erect minarets and marquees indeed as though their city were already in dream and fable.
  4. (figurative) Shining fame, renown, glory.
    After the scandal, the idol lost his luster and could only get work in Vegas.
    • 1836, Oliver Wendell Holmes, “Poetry: A Metrical Essay”, in The Poetical Works of Oliver Wendell Holmes in Two Volumes: Volume I[3], Boston & New York: Houghton Mifflin, published 1892, page 37:
      Thus err the many, who, entranced to find
      Unwonted lustre in some clearer mind,
      Believe that Genius sets the laws at naught
      Which chain the pinions of our wildest thought;
    • 1895, The Gentleman's Magazine, volume 279, page 602:
      [] whose ancestors, says Clarendon, had been transported out of Normandy with the Conqueror, "and had continued," says Sir Henry Wotton, "about the space of four hundred years, rather without obscurity than with any great lustre [] ".
    • 2006, Florence Tamagne, A History of Homosexuality in Europe, Volume I & II: Berlin, London, Paris, 1919-1939, New York: Algora, page 87:
      The notion of two homosexuals living together more or less openly did not sit well with their neighbors, or even their friends, but Millthorpe took on a kind of symbolic luster as a kind of homosexual paradise.
    • 2023 February 11, Janan Ganesh, “After Germany's fall, which is the paragon nation?”, in FT Weekend, page 22:
      Where else then, Denmark? Its misgivings about immigration have smudged some of the liberal lustre it once had.
  5. (figurative) Polish, social refinement.
    Sure, the posh git spoke with fine lustre. 'S all a load of bollocks, though, innit?
  6. A thing exhibiting luster, particularly
    1. (literary) Any shining body or thing.
    2. A piece of glass added to a light (especially a chandelier) to increase its luster.
      • 1735, Alexander Pope, The First Satire of the Second Book of Horace Imitated, 45-48:
        Each mortal has his pleasure: none deny
        Scarsdale his bottle, Darty his ham-pie;
        Ridotta sips and dances, till she see
        The doubling lustres dance as fast as she;
    3. An ornamental light providing luster, especially a chandelier.
      • 1905, Thomas Mann, “The Blood of the Walsungs”, in H.T. Lowe-Porter, transl., Death in Venice & Seven Other Stories, New York: Vintage, published 1954, page 294:
        The immense room was carpeted, the walls were covered with eighteenth-century panelling, and three electric lustres hung from the ceiling.
    4. A substance that imparts luster to a surface, inclusive of polish, gloss, plumbago, glaze, etc.
      • 2009, Yuka Kadoi, Islamic Chinoiserie: The Art of Mongol Iran, Edinburgh University Press, page 52:
        Chinese themes are equally recognisable in the star-shaped and hexagonal tiles with either moulded relief or lustre-painted decoration, sometimes surrounded by an inscription border []
    5. The layer of an object that imparts luster, chiefly with regard to ceramics.
    6. Clipping of lusterware: highly lustrous ceramics.
      • 1936, Freya Stark, chapter XXIII, in The Southern Gates of Arabia: A Journey in the Hadhramaut, Boston: E.P. Dutton, page 253:
        The whole place was covered with fragments of pottery, mostly very rough, and difficult to identify as to date. Two small lustre shards belong to the ninth or tenth century and a green glaze resembles the output of the kilns found by Sir Aurel Stein on the coast of Makran.
    7. A kind of lustrous fabric with a wool weft and cotton, linen, or silk warp, chiefly used for women's dresses.
      • 1938, Xavier Herbert, chapter IX, in Capricornia[4], New York: D. Appleton-Century, published 1943, page 143:
        Mrs. McLash was dressed for travelling. She wore a black lustre skirt that just exposed her broken button-boots []
    8. (obsolete) A glory, an act or thing that imparts fame or renown.
Antonyms[edit]
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]
Translations[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Verb[edit]

luster (third-person singular simple present lusters, present participle lustering, simple past and past participle lustered) (American spelling)

  1. (intransitive, now rare) To have luster, to gleam, to shine.
    • 1729, Richard Savage, The Wanderer, Sect. iii, l. 326:
      What bloom, what brightness lusters o'er her cheeks!
  2. (intransitive, now rare) To gain luster, to become lustrous.
  3. (transitive) To give luster, particularly
    1. (obsolete) To make illustrious or attractive, to distinguish.
      • 1644, John Maxwell, Sacro-Sancta Regum Majestas, page 17:
        Our Puritans have from hence learned to colour and lustre their ugly Treasons... with the cloake of Religion.
    2. To coat with a lustrous material or glaze, to impart physical luster to an object.
      • 1985, Nadine Gordimer, “Sins of the Third Age”, in Something Out There, Penguin, page 69:
        Peter and Mania found a pensione whose view was of chestnut woods and a horizon looped by peaks lustred with last winter's snow, distant in time as well as space.
  4. (transitive, obsolete) To shed light on, to illustrate, to show.
  5. (transitive, obsolete) Synonym of lustrate, particularly
    1. Synonym of purify, to ritually cleanse or renew.
    2. Synonym of look, to look over, to survey.
Synonyms[edit]
  • (To give luster to): lustrate (obsolete)
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English lustre, from Latin lustrum, from Old Latin *loustrom, of uncertain origin. More at lustrum.

Noun[edit]

luster (plural lusters)

  1. Alternative form of lustrum: A five-year period, especially (historical) in Roman contexts.
    • 1387, Ranulph Higden, translated by John de Trevisa, Polychronicon, volume VIII, page 29:
      ...thritty yere of vj. lustres...
    • 1624, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy: [], 2nd edition, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, →OCLC, partition II, section 4, member 2, subsection ii:
      Mesue and some other Arabians began to reject and reprehend it; upon whose authority, for many following lusters, it was much debased and quite out of request […].
Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

From lust +‎ -er.

Noun[edit]

luster (plural lusters)

  1. (now rare) One who lusts, one inflamed with lust.
    • 1591, John Lyly, Endimion, sig. E4v:
      Eumenides But did neuer any Louers come hether?
      Geron Lusters, but not Louers.
    • 1847, Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre, volume III, page 124:
      ...a luster after power...
    • 1867-1872, Ante-Nicene Christian Library, Testimonies against the Jews
      Neither fornicators, nor those who serve idols, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor the lusters after mankind [] shall obtain the kingdom of God.

Etymology 4[edit]

From Latin lustra (wilds, woods).

Noun[edit]

luster (plural lusters)

  1. (obsolete) Synonym of den: a dwelling-place in a wilderness, especially for animals.
    • c. 1615, Homer, translated by George Chapman, Odysses, 2nd edition, page 159:
      ...But, turning to his luster, Calues and Dam,
      He shewes abhorr'd death, in his angers flame...
Alternative forms[edit]

References[edit]

Anagrams[edit]

Dutch[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From French lustre, see luister.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

luster m (plural lusters, diminutive lustertje n)

  1. A chandelier, an ostentatious ceiling light
  2. Alternative form of luister

Polish[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

luster

  1. genitive plural of lustro

Serbo-Croatian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From German Luster.

Noun[edit]

lùster m (Cyrillic spelling лу̀стер)

  1. chandelier

Declension[edit]