Definition of luminary in English:


Pronunciation /ˈlo͞oməˌnerē/ /ˈluməˌnɛri/

See synonyms for luminary

Translate luminary into Spanish


  • 1A person who inspires or influences others, especially one prominent in a particular sphere.

    ‘one of the luminaries of child psychiatry’
    • ‘By the time the Navy approached Albert Einstein and other prominent Princeton scientific luminaries for help in these matters, they had tried a number of methods to achieve their goal.’
    • ‘This is the sort of thing jazz luminaries do these days to make a living.’
    • ‘Those in the habit of bemoaning Montreal's supposedly dead art scene will be biting their tongues hard this summer as imported art stars, local luminaries and great talents invade our galleries, museums and green spaces.’
    • ‘This is reflected in the work of almost all the leading luminaries of modern architecture who, starting with a total Western outlook, have later felt the need to look more closely and deeply at Indian thought and tradition.’
    • ‘Indeed, a petition against the boycott idea has garnered thousands of signatures from intellectual luminaries here.’
    • ‘The retreat is a weekend of tutorials from leading business luminaries on entrepreneurship.’
    • ‘In short, we desire to participate in a truly ‘catholic’ reading of the text, even in those instances when that reading leads us to differ with past luminaries on certain theological issues’
    • ‘He won a fiercely dedicated following of young Chicano and Anglo organizers and the support of Hollywood celebrities, political luminaries, and social reformers.’
    • ‘Since then, birding luminaries and legendary enthusiasts have sacrificed huge chunks of their lives to catch the merest glimpse of the wondrous woodpecker.’
    • ‘A voting Academy of up to 50 cricket luminaries - including present captains, match officials and former prominent players - is being established to vote on the individual awards.’
    • ‘The 60s saw the biggest names in rock history pass through its doors including such luminaries as the Rolling Stones, The Beatles and Jimi Hendix.’
    • ‘The Europeans seem to be relying on the doubts of certain American luminaries, while those luminaries rely on lack of support by the Europeans.’
    • ‘This section is dedicated to luminaries, pioneers and individuals who have made significant contributions to the international art, science and technology community.’
    • ‘Politicians and legal luminaries rubbed shoulders with film stars and top scientists recently.’
    • ‘Analytical articles by legal luminaries will be a regular feature of the journal.’
    • ‘He was followed by a number of good panels filled with various luminaries.’
    • ‘With a leadership vacuum within the committee, various luminaries have weighed in with their preferences.’
    • ‘The event featured daily keynote addresses from industry luminaries and more than 60 technical seminars.’
    • ‘Audiences at two screenings in Los Angeles, packed with film industry luminaries, were equally receptive.’
    • ‘Indeed, a petition against the boycott idea has garnered thousands of signatures from intellectual luminaries here.’
    leading light, guiding light, inspiration, leader, expert, master, panjandrum, dignitary, VIP
    View synonyms
  • 2archaic A natural light-giving body, especially the sun or moon.

    ‘Since the most productive of heat and warmth are Cancer and Leo, they assigned these to the greatest and most powerful heavenly bodies, the luminaries, as houses.’
    • ‘There are 10 planets in Astrology, beginning with the Sun and the Moon, which are also known as luminaries.’
    • ‘The Moon's orb of around 12 degrees is also that which separates the luminaries when the new crescent Moon reappears after conjunction.’
    • ‘This closest of sky luminaries, a sphere as well as the Earth, casts its own shadows on its surface, tracing the shape that is then turned away from the sun.’
    1. 2.1An artificial light.
      ‘We offer an exciting range of lighting and luminaries that have the ability to accentuate, to harmonize, to enhance, and to convey a mood.’
      • ‘Designed to simulate conditions just about anywhere on the planet, each height-adjustable light pole is equipped with three different kinds of highway luminaries.’


Late Middle English from Old French luminarie or late Latin luminarium, from Latin lumen, lumin- ‘light’.