brilliant

ThomasK

Senior Member
Belgium, Dutch
Our evaluative adjectives often refer to light, I think. I think of "brilliant" in English, but I think there will be more that refer to high-quality, extreme-beauty. I suppose dazzling, shining, gleaming, all fit into this category: all referring to light (shining...) and quality or beauty. How about your language?

Dutch: briljant, schitterend (iterative -eren, just as in glit-tery), sprankelend (probably related with "sparkling" in English, but mainly referring to wit, originality), stralend (radiating)... We also have a verb, "uitblinken" (shine out), but "blinkend" (shining) seems dialectal to me...
 
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  • Yendred

    Senior Member
    Français - France
    In French, I can mention:
    brillant: can translate bright (concrete meaning) or brillant (abstract meaning)
    éblouissant: (from éblouir: to dazzle with light) dazzling
    éclatant: (from éclat: brightness of light) resounding/sensational
    étincelant: sparkling
    flamboyant: blazing/flaming (also used as is in English when talking about flamboyant Gothic style)
    illustre: illustrious (from Latin illustris: bright)
    lumineux: (from lumière: light) cristal clear/brillant
    radieux: radiant
    clinquant: glitzy/flashy, in a pejorative sense

    There are also abstract meanings for lumière (light):
    Donne nous tes lumières sur le sujet = Give us your knowledge about the subject
    C'est une lumière = He/she is a very intelligent person
     
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    Dymn

    Senior Member
    Spanish: brillante (intelligence), deslumbrante (lumbre is archaic for "light"; beauty), radiante (beauty)... also adjectives from splendeo "to shine, glitter, etc." in Latin: espléndido, esplendoroso, resplandeciente, all of them found in English too.

    Also sometimes references to "light" can be satirical:
    lumbreras ("fool, idiot"), iluminado (somebody who has ideas de bombero lit. "firefigher ideas", crazy ideas, especially if already proven to be disastrous).
     

    Yendred

    Senior Member
    Français - France
    iluminado (somebody who has ideas de bombero lit. "firefigher ideas", crazy ideas, especially if already proven to be disastrous).
    Indeed. I didn't think of the French equivalent: illuminé

    Oddly enough, the difference is subtle between:
    C'est une lumière = He's very intelligent
    C'est un illuminé = He's crazy

    Note that illuminé often refers to someone who has gone crazy/radicalized because he was infuenced by religious/sectarian ideas.
     
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    Dymn

    Senior Member
    In Portuguese, the Enlightenment is called Iluminismo. Whenever I read it I always think of it of some guys gathering around having some crackpot ideas :D

    Also in Catalan estar com un llum "to be like a light" is yet another way to say someone's crazy.
     

    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    I just thought of "lucid/e", which is very positive. Then elucidate, like il-lustr-ate… I do not see the Association of light and craziness, but I did think of "lunatic", where the moon plays a role.

    @Yendred: great examples.
     

    apmoy70

    Senior Member
    Greek
    Greek:

    -«Λαμπρός, -ρή, -ρό» [lamˈbrɔs] (masc.), [lamˈbri] (fem.), [lamˈbrɔ] (neut.) --> brilliant, shining, gleaming < Classical deverbative adj. «λαμπρός, -ρά, -ρόν» lămprós (masc.), lămprā́ (fem.), lămprón (neut.) --> bright, radiant, illustrious, joyous, splendid, brilliant < Classical v. «λάμπω» lắmpō --> to lighten, glow, illuminate (possibly from a nasalised variant of PIE *leh₂p- to glow, light cf Hitt. lāpp-/lapp- to glow, flash, Ltv. lāpa, torch, but for Beekes this etymology is problematic due to the nasalisation).
    -«Εκθαμβωτικός, -κή, -κό» [ek.θam.vɔ.tiˈkɔs] (masc.), [ek.θam.vɔ.tiˈci] (masc.), [ek.θam.vɔ.tiˈkɔ] (neut.) --> dazzling, glaring (a 1887 construction) < Classical preposition & prefix «ἐκ» ĕk + Classical neut. noun «θάμβος» tʰắmbŏs --> amazement, fright (of Pre-Greek origin).
    -«Αστραφτερός, -ρή, -ρό» [as.traf.teˈɾɔs] (masc.), [as.traf.teˈɾi] (fem.), [as.traf.teˈɾɔ] (neut.) --> blazing, sparkling, glittering < Classical fem. noun «ἀστραπή» ăstrapḗ & «ἀστεροπή» ăstĕrŏpḗ --> lightning, lightning bolt (possibly a compound of Classical «ἄστρον» ắstrŏn (neut.) --> star (PIE *h₂stēr- star inherited IE word common to almost all IE languages) + Classical noun «ὤψ» ṓp͜s (with disputed gender) --> eye, face, countenance (PIE *h₃ekʷ- to see cf Skt. ईक्षते (īkṣate), to look, observe)).
    -«Απαστράπτων, -ουσα, -ον» [a.paˈstrap.tɔn] (masc.), [a.paˈstrap.tu.sa] (fem.), [a.paˈstrap.tɔn] (neut.), learned adj. --> sparkling, gleaming, resplendent < Byz Gr v. «ἀπαστράπτω» apastráptō --> to be shiny, glitter, sparkle < Classical prefix & preposition «ἀπό» ăpó + «ἄστρον» (see above).
    -«Φωτεινός, -νή, -νό» [fɔ.tiˈnɔs] (masc.), [fɔ.tiˈni] (fem.), [fɔ.tiˈnɔ] (neut.) --> shining, bright < Classical adj. «φωτεινός, -νή, -νόν» pʰōtei̯nós (masc.), pʰōtei̯nḗ (fem.), pʰōtei̯nón (neut.) --> shining, bright, clear, distinct < Classical neut. noun «φάος/φῶς» pʰắŏs (uncontracted)/pʰôs (contracted). «Φωτεινή» is a (not so common) first name for females.
    -«Επιφανής, -νής, -νές» [e.pi.faˈnis] (masc. & fem.), [e.pi.faˈnes] (neut.) --> illustrious < Classical adj. «ἐπιφανής, -νής, -νές» ĕpĭpʰănḗs (masc. & fem.), ĕpĭpʰănés (neut.) --> illustrious, glorious, god manifest < Classical prefix & preposition «ἐπί» ĕpí + Classical v. «φαίνω» pʰaí̯nō. «Ἐπιφανής» was a common epithet in antiquity for historical figures, eg Antiochus IV Epiphanes.
    -«Ακτινοβόλος, -α, -ο» [ak.ti.nɔˈvɔ.lɔs] (masc.), [ak.ti.nɔˈvɔ.la] (fem.), [ak.ti.nɔˈvɔ.lɔ] (neut.) --> radiant, beaming, stunning < Classical adj. «ἀκτινοβόλος, -λος, -λον» ăktĭnŏbólŏs (masc. & fem.), ăktĭnŏbólŏn (neut.) --> s/he who's sending forth rays < Classical 3rd declension fem. noun «ἀκτίς» ăktís (nom. sing.), «ἀκτῖνος» ăktînŏs (gen. sing.) + Classical v. «βάλλω» bắllō.
    -«Λαμπερός, -ρή, -ρό» [lam.beˈɾɔs] (masc.), [lam.beˈɾi] (fem.), [lam.beˈɾɔ] (neut.) --> lambent, lucent, glamorous, possibly from the Classical deverbative adj. «λαμπυρός, -ρά, -ρόν» lămpŭrós (masc.), lămpŭrā́ (fem.), lămpŭrón (neut.) --> shining, illuminating, shimmering < Classical v. «λαμπυρίζω» lămpŭrízō --> to illuminate, shimmer, shine steadily (see etymology of «λάμπω»).
     

    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    That is an impressive list, thanks. Are they all in use nowadays? --- I have also been wondering about which of these have been adopted in European languages, but I think there are few. I mean: "lamp" is just "lamp", I am afraid. Only phenomenon, epiphany, I suppose. Nothing with "aktino", I think. No words with "aster", "thambos', I think. Isn't that strange?
     

    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    Had not thought of that. Exxcellent observation. I cannot see such a link in Dutch, but of course there are "enlightened" people, "verlichte", and I suppose that is a very positive qualification as well.
     

    Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    In Russian most words here are apparently of Church Slavonic origin, judging on the affixes.:) The forms below are adverbs (identical to short sg. neuter adjectives; it's difficult to say what we actually have in typical exclamations), but equivalent adjectives can be perfectly used as attributives or predicates in suitable contexts anyway.



    восхитительно (voskhitítel'no) - amazing; more literally, ~upsnatching;

    прекрасно (prekrásno) - beautiful; more literally, ~overpretty;

    превосходно (prevoskhódno) - excellent; more literally, surpassing; even more literally, ~overupgoing;

    прелестно (preléstno) - charming, fascinating; more literally, ~overflattering (although Church Slavonic льсть is originally more related to intrigue, lies and seduction);

    замечательно (zamechátel'no) - ramarkable, outstanding < noticeable (or, rather, "making one to notice").



    Not a single term related to brilliance, radiance etc., though.
     

    Sardokan1.0

    Senior Member
    Sardu / Italianu
    In Sardinian language to describe a brilliant / smart person we don't use brilliant or similar adjectives, but we use to say "acutu" (sharp), which is also the past participle of the verb "acutare" (to sharpen), derived from Latin "ăcūtāre" (to sharpen)

    Est una persone acuta (It's a brilliant / smart person)
    Est un'homine acutu (it's a brilliant / sharp man)
    Est unu pitzinnu acutu (it's a brilliant / sharp / lively child)
     

    nimak

    Senior Member
    Macedonian
    Macedonian

    светлина (svétlina) noun = "light"
    светол (svétol) adj. = "bright", "shiny", "light"; but in figurative meaning: "happy", "intelligent", "majestic"
    пресветол (présvetol) adj. = "too bright", "too shiny"; but in figurative meaning: "majestic"
    просветлен (prósvetlen) adj. = "enlightened"; but in figurative meaning: "educated", "well-informed"

    сјај (sjaj) noun = "shine", "brightness", "brilliance"; but in figurative meaning: "beauty"
    сјаен (sjáen) adj. = "shiny", "bright", "brilliant"; but in figurative meaning: "exceptional", "impressive"

    блесок (blésok) noun = "flash", "shine", "brilliance"; but in figurative meaning: "beauty", "glamor"
    блескав (bléskav) adj. = "shiny", "flashy", "brilliant"; but in figurative meaning: "glamorous", "impressive"
     

    apmoy70

    Senior Member
    Greek
    That is an impressive list, thanks. Are they all in use nowadays?
    Yes they're in use with the exception perhaps of «απαστράπτων» which is learned and rare.
    --- I have also been wondering about which of these have been adopted in European languages, but I think there are few. I mean: "lamp" is just "lamp", I am afraid. Only phenomenon, epiphany, I suppose. Nothing with "aktino", I think. No words with "aster", "thambos', I think. Isn't that strange?
    Are you sure? Astronomy, Astrology, Astrolabe, Astronaut etc
     

    eno2

    Senior Member
    Dutch-Flemish
    , iluminado (somebody who has ideas de bombero lit. "firefigher ideas", crazy ideas, especially if already proven to be disastrous).
    I resent instinctively the extremely pejorative use of iluminado, but it's perhaps true that it's used that way.
    A first check in WR doesn't seem to corrobate it. iluminado - Definición - WordReference.com
    DLE doesn't go that far either. 3. adj. Dicho de una persona: Que, sin atender a razonamientos, cree estaren posesión de la verdad absoluta. U. t. c. s.
    and defines iluminación así:
    . f. Rel. Esclarecimiento interior místico experimental o racional.
    Lo que es correcto para la iluminación Budista. No hace falta tildar a estas personas de locos.

    I knew the expression 'ideas de bombero'. I resented it too. It's shedding a very ugly light on firefighters, which is a marvelous profession.

    Had not thought of that. Exxcellent observation. I cannot see such a link in Dutch, but of course there are "enlightened" people, "verlichte", and I suppose that is a very positive qualification as well.
    What's the link with Yendred's shining strongly, bright?
    Verlicht is receiving light. Literally.
    'Verlichte' is "spiritually totally accomplished"
    .
    Only phenomenon, epiphany, I suppose.
    :confused:
    What do you mean?

    To me.
    <ἐπιφανής, -ής, -ές
    (συνήθως για τους θεούς) που εμφανίζεται (ξαφνικά)>ἐπιφανής - Βικιλεξικό
    doesn't fit in the list of apmoy70, nothing to do with light.

    Epiphany etymology: From Greek epihainein, reveal.
     
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    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    Epiphany : /faino/, seem, is in his list (third but last).

    "Verlicht": not with Y"s word but with the idea of "brilliant"??? Maybe, an enlightened person is brilliant, in that s/he can also spread "his/ her" light well.
     

    eno2

    Senior Member
    Dutch-Flemish
    Epiphany : /faino/, seem, is in his list (third but last).
    :confused:
    I know it's in his list.
    My post was criticizing the presence of epiphany in his list by giving the etymology of epiphany.
    Maybe, an enlightened person is brilliant, in that s/he can also spread "his/ her" light well.
    Verlicht is receiving light, not spreading light. Illumimated is not really the same as eluminating. Not even in the figurative.
    Many a illuminated person is not spreading illumination like the Buddha did but simply living it. Like Shravaka's, for instance. It's not like such a person or a Bodhisattva is glowing in the dark. And you don't have to be brilliant to be illuminated, but not a total fool (iluminado in Spanish) neither.
     
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    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    Of course not literally glowing, but what I think is that those persons have some kind of charism in general, and that might be a reason for mentioning it here. But strictly speaking you are quite right, no doubt. I have just been wondering about whether one could say it somehow fits into this context...

    /faino/ is "to shine", but OK, it does not really have to do with "brilliance", that is right, I suppose. @apmoy70 : what do you think? Does it it in here?
    I'd link it more with perception as in the other thread I started.
     
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    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    In Russian most words here are apparently of Church Slavonic origin, judging on the affixes.:) The forms below are adverbs (identical to short sg. neuter adjectives; it's difficult to say what we actually have in typical exclamations), but equivalent adjectives can be perfectly used as attributives or predicates in suitable contexts anyway.



    восхитительно (voskhitítel'no) - amazing; more literally, ~upsnatching;

    прекрасно (prekrásno) - beautiful; more literally, ~overpretty;

    превосходно (prevoskhódno) - excellent; more literally, surpassing; even more literally, ~overupgoing;

    прелестно (preléstno) - charming, fascinating; more literally, ~overflattering (although Church Slavonic льсть is originally more related to intrigue, lies and seduction);

    замечательно (zamechátel'no) - ramarkable, outstanding < noticeable (or, rather, "making one to notice").



    Not a single term related to brilliance, radiance etc., though.
    @Awwal12 : Not one then? In what kind of adjectives (or senses) do you refer to light then? I think in the word for explaining, I think. No? How about the literal 'shining', 'bright', etc.?
     

    eno2

    Senior Member
    Dutch-Flemish
    /faino/ is "to shine",
    φαίνω (phaínō) ,
    means etymologically 'shine, appear' and also 'reveal, disclose', and in epiphany it's '(godly) revelation , disclosure', more than it is 'shine' or 'brillancy'.

    Nowadays pronunciated /ˈfe.no/ as in φαίνομαι= to appear

    I don't think φαίνω still exists in Modern Greek
     

    apmoy70

    Senior Member
    Greek
    ...

    /faino/ is "to shine", but OK, it does not really have to do with "brilliance", that is right, I suppose. @apmoy70 : what do you think? Does it it in here?
    I'd link it more with perception as in the other thread I started.
    Well it derives from «φῶς» which is light.
    (phaínō) ,
    means etymologically 'shine, appear' and also 'reveal, disclose', and in epiphany it's '(godly) revelation , disclosure', more than it is 'shine' or 'brillancy'.

    Nowadays pronunciated /ˈfe.no/ as in φαίνομαι= to appear

    I don't think φαίνω still exists in Modern Greek
    The active «φαίνω» indeed is not used is MoGr, its mediopassive «φαίνομαι» though is alive and kicking
     

    bibax

    Senior Member
    Czech (Prague)
    Czech:

    skvělý = excellent, splendid, superb, ...;
    adv. skvěle! = great! splendid! (= excellently, splendidly!);

    Odvádíš skvělou práci. = You're doing a fine job.
    Donald Trump měl dnes skvělou řeč. = Donald Trump made an excellent speech today.
    Tato škola má skvělé učitele. = This school has excellent teachers.

    The adjective skvělý is common. It has no other meaning in contemporary Czech than "excellent", esp. it does NOT mean "shining, radiant, glittering, ...".

    However, it is derived from the verb skvíti se (= to shine), now bookish and rarely used:
    jeho hlava skvěla se jako slunce = his head shone like sun (about a fair-haired prince in a fairy tale);

    In Russian, the adjective блестящий (derived from the verb блестеть = to shine, to glitter, to sparkle) still has both meanings ("glittering/shining" and "excellent"):

    блестящие звезды = zářící hvězdy (CZ) = shining stars;
    блестящий успех = skvělý úspěch (CZ) = excellent success/achievement;
     
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    nimak

    Senior Member
    Macedonian
    Ah, yes, there is still one somewhat related in Russian:
    блестяще (blestyásche) - brilliantly, lit. glittering
    What about "пресветлый царь", "пресветлый князь" etc.?
     

    nimak

    Senior Member
    Macedonian
    @Awwal12
    But there is also "пресветлый праздник" or "просветленный человек".
     

    Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Indeed. Although these are confined to religious/spiritual vocabulary (пресветлый is, obviously, a loan from Church Slavonic) and are very remotely related to the original topic.
     

    Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Thanks, I cannot find them in your first list, I think. What do these mean? The /pre/ is over- again, I suppose...
    pre/svet/l/yi - adj. "illustrious", literally "overlight", from "svétlyi" - adj. "light" ("not dark", about light levels or colour shades), derived from "svet" (n. "light"), i.e. light-ish.

    pro/svet/l/yon/n/yi - passive past participle and related verbal adjective "enlightened" (in spiritual meaning), literally "lightened through" ("made light through"), from v. "prosvetlít'" - ~"to lighten", more literally ~"to have sth lightened through", from "svétlyi" (see above).

    Cf. also просвещённый (pro/svesch/ón/n/yi) - "enlightened" (in the meaning of education), lit. "lightened through" (i.e. "transilluminated", "made so that the light has passed through") - another Church Slavonic loanword, with its native counterpart being "просвеченный" (pro/svéch/en/n/yi) - "transilluminated" (and a set of adjacent, but also not very figurative, meanings, like "X-rayed").
     

    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    Great information, thanks. So here we clearly have a light-related evaluative adjective, don't we? (By the way: I think I remember there are verbs in Slavic Languages that refer to explanation and contain the root /svet/, aren't there?)
     
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