There are 2 main definitions of luster in English:


Syllabification: lus·ter
Pronunciation: /ˈləstər
(British lustre)


1A gentle sheen or soft glow, especially that of a partly reflective surface: the luster of the Milky Way she couldn’t eat, and her hair lost its luster
More example sentences
  • With a soft, gleaming luster that even a little leftover field dust does nothing to hide, tomatoes beckon us to the summer kitchen.
  • The golden ceiling is artificially lit from below, so it glows with a gentle lustre.
  • Part of the craft of the painter consists in producing the appearance of film colours and volume colours, of lustre or glow or luminosity, by means of pigments which do not in fact have these qualities.
1.1The manner in which the surface of a mineral reflects light.
More example sentences
  • The luster of a mineral refers to the way in which light is reflected off of the mineral.
  • Tin purifies water, has an attractive silver lustre symbolic of light, and has no detrimental impact upon other substances.
  • ‘This is a marvelous stone,’ Seiriô exclaimed, entranced by its glassy luster in the opalescent light.
1.2Glory or distinction: a celebrity player to add luster to the lineup
More example sentences
  • Harry, Paul, Nick and Lance would all add a lot to the New Statesman, both in quality and subject matter, while the philosophers over at Crooked Timber would add lustre to the back half too.
  • Even the statues of great scholars and freedom fighters that add lustre to the city's heritage will be covered with party flags and posters.
  • The supporting band add lustre to the old arrangements, although most of them have very bad hair and play too many solos.
2A thin coating containing unoxidized metal that gives an iridescent glaze to ceramics.
More example sentences
  • The exhibition displays exquisite pieces made by fusing and blowing with top quality glass powders, precious metals, lustre and leafs from different countries.
  • The handmade QM2 teapots will be painted in gold lustre for the ship's first year, after which silver leaf will be used.
  • The most commonly seen items in this range are the Rouge Royale pieces, which have a deep red lustre finish with gilt decorations.
2.1Ceramics with an iridescent metallic glaze; lusterware: [as modifier]: luster jugs
More example sentences
  • At the same time, Iraqi potters developed luster glazes by adding metallic elements to the surface of the glazed piece before a second firing in the kiln.
  • The firm had always been keen to experiment with its styling and finishes, using both lacquer and lustre glazes, and it was this experience which enabled it to produce the Royale products.
  • Two white lustre horses rear up on the top shelf, symbols of life on the move - although Donald says there is no going back to the old life.
3A fabric or yarn with a sheen or gloss.
More example sentences
  • The Wensleydale's primary value is in its fleece, which produces among the finest lustre wool in the world.
  • With their thick, ringletted coats the breed lays claim to producing the finest lustre wool in the world.
3.1British A thin dress material with a cotton warp, woolen weft, and a glossy surface.
4A prismatic glass pendant on a chandelier or other ornament.
More example sentences
  • One of my little trees has been hauled in from the greenhouse, and at midnight, I will decorate it with spare chandelier lustres.
  • The thunderbolt (which became my primary magical tool for the next 8 years or so) was created with the help of Brother R.B.B., and formed from two glass chandelier lustres.
  • This attractive necklace is made from re-cycled TV screen beads, they are a lovely soft grey colour and sparkle like chandelier lustres.
4.1A cut-glass chandelier or candelabra.
More example sentences
  • The stiff, hard Guardis on the walls, in which tin gondoliers were propelling iron gondolas on a leaden lagoon, were but faintly visible by the tentative light of the circle of candles in the quivering lustre chandelier.
  • The church lustre was dotted with candles, joyful melodies of volunteer singers with roaring bass and piercing contralto mingled with the chant of the choir.


early 16th century: from French lustre, from Italian lustro, from the verb lustrare, from Latin lustrare 'illuminate'.

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