luster

luster, sheen, gloss, glaze are comparable when they denote a smooth shining surface that is the natural property of a thing or is given to it by some such process as polishing, burnishing, or coating.
Luster basically and in technical use regularly implies a giving off of often iridescent reflected light
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the satiny luster of fine pearls

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the soft luster of polished wood

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cut a piece of lead or of zinc, and observe the luster of its fresh surface— T. H. Huxley

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the luster of minerals can be divided into two types, metallic and nonmetallic— Hurlbut

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In literary and extended use luster is often used to imply radiance or brilliance (see BRIGHT 1)
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the sun was shining with uncommon lusterDickens

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Sheen applies to a lustrous surface (as of a textile) or a surface luster (as of a mineral cleavage surface or a dark feather) that may be dull or bright and may be a simple shining or marked by richly iridescent or metallic tones
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repeated scrubbings have given the wood a silvery sheen—Amer. Guide Series: Mich.

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the flashing sheen on the bird's plume— Sitwell

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the sheen of their spears was like stars on the seaByron

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the sheen of his poplin and velvet— Cather

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In extended use sheen may stress richness and brilliance
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an amazing sheen over the orchestral sound, a definition of textures and effects not to be heard even in the concert hall— Robert Lawrence

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or it may stress a superficiality suggestive of a surface luster
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daughters with a sheen of drawing- room accomplishments upon them— Bell

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Gloss stresses superficiality more than luster or sheen and is appropriately applied to something that shines because coated with a shining substance
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the gloss of a newly varnished floor

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or because well polished
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buffed the leather to a high gloss

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or specially finished
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the gloss on this chintz will wash off

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In extended use, gloss often implies superficial attractiveness or plausibility
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Mr. France plans to put the same gloss ... on the place as he does on the fancy Collins Avenue hotels— Friedlander

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writes with his usual agreeable gloss, but it may be that the ingredients are wearing just a bit thin— New Yorker

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Glaze applies particularly to a glasslike coating which provides a smooth impervious lustrous surface on ceramic wares, but it is also applicable to such comparable coatings as one made on cooked meats by pouring over them broth thickened by boiling or by addition of gelatin, or on baked goods by beaten egg or syrup, or as one formed on terrestrial surfaces
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walks covered with a glaze of ice

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a porcelain bowl with a thick bubbly celadon glaze

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The term also is sometimes applied to the material from which such a glaze is made
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new carrots dressed with a glaze of brown sugar and butter

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Glaze is the least common of these terms in extended usage and in such use is typically metaphorical
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we whites have a color glaze on our imaginations that makes it hard to feel with the people we have segregated ourselves from— Lillian Smith

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her skin had the healthy glaze that comes from sunshine and ten hours of sleep a night— Brodkey

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Analogous words: iridescence, opalescence (see corresponding adjectives at PRISMATIC): brilliancy, radiance, luminosity, effulgence, refulgence (see corresponding adjectives at BRIGHT)

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Luster — Escudo …   Wikipedia Español

  • Luster — Lus ter, Lustre Lus tre, n. [F. lustre; cf. It. lustro; both fr. L. lustrare to purify, go about (like the priests at the lustral sacrifice), traverse, survey, illuminate, fr. lustrum a purificatory sacrifice; perh. akin to E. loose. But lustrare …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Luster — Blason de Luster Localisation de Luster dans le Sogn og Fjordane …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Luster — steht für: Kronleuchter, als dessen österreichische Bezeichnung Luster (Norwegen), eine Gemeinde in Norwegen Luster ist der Familienname von: Andrew Luster (* 1963), Serienvergewaltiger Ahrue Luster, Gitarrist Rudolf Luster (1921–2000), deutscher …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Lüster — Luster (österr.); Kronleuchter * * * Lụs|ter 〈m. 3; österr.〉 = Lüster * * * Lụ̈s|ter [frz. lustre = Glanz (lat. lustrare = beleuchten, erhellen)], der; s, : 1) irisierender, glänzender, ggf. farbiger Überzug auf Keramik u. Glas, der durch… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Luster — Lüster (alt); Kronleuchter * * * Lụs|ter 〈m. 3; österr.〉 = Lüster * * * Lụ̈s|ter [frz. lustre = Glanz (lat. lustrare = beleuchten, erhellen)], der; s, : 1) irisierender, glänzender, ggf. farbiger Überzug auf Keramik u. Glas, der durch Einbrennen… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Luster — Lus ter Lustre Lus tre, n. [L. lustrum: cf. F. lustre.] A period of five years; a lustrum. [1913 Webster] Both of us have closed the tenth luster. Bolingbroke. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Lüster — Sm Kronleuchter erw. fach. (18. Jh.) Entlehnung. Entlehnt aus frz. lustre, das aus it. lustro kommt und ursprünglich Glanz bedeutet (zu l. lūstrāre erleuchten ).    Ebenso ne. lustre, nndl. luster, nschw. lyster, nnorw. lysekrone; illustrieren,… …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • luster — lùster m <G mn lȕstērā> DEFINICIJA veliki viseći svijećnjak s jednom ili više svijeća ili svjetiljki rasvjetne i dekorativne funkcije; svjetiljnjak ETIMOLOGIJA njem. Luster ≃ fr. lustre: sjaj …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • luster — luster1 [lus′tər] n. [Fr lustre < It lustro < lustrare < L, to light, illumine < lustrum, LUSTRUM] 1. the quality, condition, or fact of shining by reflected light; gloss; sheen 2. brightness; radiance; brilliance 3. a) radiant beauty …   English World dictionary

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