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different between glittering vs illustrious




  • IPA(key): /??l?t????/



  1. present participle of glitter


glittering (comparative more glittering, superlative most glittering)

  1. Brightly sparkling.
  2. (figuratively) Valuable, desirable.
    • 1994, Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom, Abacus 2010, p.85:
      Gaur was an example of a man without a BA who seemed infinitely better educated than the fellows who left Fort Hare with glittering degrees.


  • aglitter



glittering (plural glitterings)

  1. The appearance of something that glitters.
    • Every man carries about him a touchstone, if he will make use of it, to distinguish substantial gold from superficial glitterings, truth from appearances.

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glittering in Examples From Wordnik

  • Joe doesn't need to express himself in glittering generalities.
  • Their career, while at times truly glittering, is littered with inadvertent mistakes.
  • The cover flew open and a fortune in glittering gems spilled out.
  • Or was there the standard knight in glittering armor moment we'd all expect?
  • So she went away and presently returning with the board, set it before her, and behold, it was of ivory-marquetried ebony with squares marked in glittering gold, and its pieces of pearl and ruby. —
  • Yet the record, although glittering, is not what has defined Pepper's Solheim
  • Yet, the record, although glittering, is not what has defined her Solheim Cup experience.
  • It must have been a wonderful thing for him to come out into the open streets, to see the blue sky and the houses and the trees, the great procession of soldiers and knights in glittering armor and gorgeous clothes, and the people, men, women, and children, crowding in the streets, all eager to see him.
  • Thomas took so many soldiers and servants in glittering dress, so many horses and carriages with him, that the people came out of their houses to stare at him wherever he passed.
  • He is in glittering armor, and his eyes are cruel.




From Latin ill?stris (bright, shining; distinguished, prominent, illustrious) +? -ous (suffix forming adjectives from nouns, to denote possession or presence of a quality in any degree). Ill?stris is derived from ill?str? (to brighten, illuminate; to make famous or illustrious), from in- (prefix meaning ‘in, inside’) + lustr? (to purify by making a sacrifice; to brighten, illuminate) (from lustr? (purificatory sacrifice), possibly ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *lewk- (bright; to shine) or *lewh?- (to wash)).


  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /??l?s.t??.?s/
  • (General American) IPA(key): /??l?s.t?i.?s/, /-?l?s-/
  • Hyphenation: il?lus?tri?ous


illustrious (comparative more illustrious, superlative most illustrious)

  1. Admired, distinguished, respected, or well-known, especially due to past achievements or noble qualities. [from mid 16th c.]


Derived terms

Related terms

  • lustrious


Further reading

  • illustrious (disambiguation) on Wikipedia.Wikipedia

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illustrious in Examples From Wordnik

  • One of our most distinguished sculptors was summoned, a short time since, to the house of a young lady, connected by birth with a family of the highest grade in the aristocracy of wealth, and united in marriage to the heir of a title illustrious in the military annals of the empire.
  • I called the illustrious professor Tonal Kedem, Tonal Calamari, and any other number of off-the-cuff last names for 4 years.
  • She is, indeed, in illustrious company and in the great tradition.
  • After being well educated he commenced that course of patient and observant travel which was to render his name illustrious as a philosophic tourist and historian.
  • In what, then, consists that wonderful excellence, that master-power which has made his name illustrious?
  • Wolmar, reading in the young law student the brilliant abilities that were one day to make his name illustrious, prevailed upon him to devote himself to the study of the New Testament in the original.
  • Charles de Sombreuil, whose sister had rendered the name illustrious by her heroism in the Reign of Terror.
  • Marlborough, whose fame now flies through the world, and whose glorious actions will render his name illustrious, and rank him among the renowned worthies of all ages.
  • Shortly after their erection, in 1829, the well known Sam Patch, whose diving propensities made his name illustrious, performed his noted, bold feat in 1830.
  • But several have rendered the name illustrious by their contributions to literature, science, and the fine arts.

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