Word of the Day – Refulgence

Word of the Day: May 14, 2020


noun – rih-FULL-junss


  • a radiant or resplendent quality or state : brilliance

Did you know?

“The full bow of the crescent moon peeps above the plain and shoots its gleaming arrows far and wide, filling the earth with a faint refulgence, as the glow of a good man’s deeds shines for a while upon his little world after his sun has set, lighting the fainthearted travellers who follow on towards a fuller dawn.” So British author Sir Henry Rider Haggard described the light of the moon in King Solomon’s Mines, published in 1885. Haggard’s example reflects both the modern meaning and the history of refulgence. That word derives from Latin refulgēre, which means “to shine brightly” and which is itself a descendant of the verb fulgēre, meaning “to shine.” Fulgēre also underlies effulgence, a shining synonym of refulgence.


“Looking back, … I am inclined to date the burgeoning refulgence of our love to something more like the calendar equivalent of April.” — Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22, 2010

“In reality, Poinsettia’s bracts, like holly’s berries, only said ‘blood’ to the very devout. Most people saw in their scarlet a warmth, cheeriness and opulence that made it the season’s special hue…. In the centuries ahead, that refulgence would … make it the plant of the winter holidays for countless millions, whether Christian, secular or other.” — Mark Griffiths, Country Life, 21 Dec. 2019

Merriam-Webster Word of the Day