From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Brilliant \Bril"liant\ (br[i^]l"yant), a. [F. brillant, p. pr.
   of briller to shine or sparkle (cf. Pr. & Sp. brillar, It.
   brillare), fr. L. beryllus a precious stone of sea-green
   color, Prov. It. brill. See Beryl.]
   1. Sparkling with luster; glittering; very bright; as, a
      brilliant star.
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   2. Distinguished by qualities which excite admiration;
      splendid; shining; as, brilliant talents.
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            Washington was more solicitous to avoid fatal
            mistakes than to perform brilliant exploits.
                                                  --Fisher Ames.
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   3. Exceedingly intelligent, or of distinguished
      accomplishment in a field; -- as, a brilliant chemist.

   Syn: See Shining.
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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Brilliant \Bril"liant\, n. [F. brillant. See Brilliant, a.]
   1. A diamond or other gem of the finest cut, formed into
      faces and facets, so as to reflect and refract the light,
      by which it is rendered more brilliant. It has at the
      middle, or top, a principal face, called the table, which
      is surrounded by a number of sloping facets forming a
      bizet; below, it has a small face or collet, parallel to
      the table, connected with the girdle by a pavilion of
      elongated facets. It is thus distinguished from the rose
      diamond, which is entirely covered with facets on the
      surface, and is flat below.
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            This snuffbox -- on the hinge see brilliants shine.
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   2. (Print.) The smallest size of type used in England
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   3. A kind of cotton goods, figured on the weaving.
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