General English


  • noun an old type size equivalent to 4 point


  • used to describe a wine that has a perfectly clear appearance, with no trace of cloudiness or sediment. It can indicate a wine that has been highly filtered and so has lost some of its flavour.

Origin & History of “brilliant”

Brilliant comes from French brilliant, the present participle of briller ‘shine’. French borrowed the verb from Italian brillare, but it is not altogether clear where Italian got it from. One theory is that it came from vulgar Latin *bērillāre, a derivative of bērillus ‘precious stone’ (whence English beryl (13th c.)). The source of the Latin noun was Greek bḗrullos, which may have come from one of the Indo-European languages of India (Sanskrit vaidūrya ‘cat’s-eye’ has been compared).