Famous and widely recognized for achievements, characterized by distinction and fame.


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



Famous, renowned, notable, celebrated, distinguished, accomplished, great, noble


Unfamous, unknown, obscure, unremarkable

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun illustriousness, illustriousnesses
Verb None
Adjective illustrious
Adverb illustriously

Example Sentences

  • Alexander the Great was an illustrious military leader who conquered vast territories and established one of the largest empires in history.

  • The scientist’s groundbreaking discoveries and contributions to the field of medicine earned him an illustrious reputation among his peers.

  • The illustrious composer’s symphonies are still performed and admired by orchestras around the world, showcasing his immense talent and creativity.

  • The museum housed an extensive collection of artwork from illustrious painters and sculptors, attracting visitors from all corners of the globe.


The word “illustrious” originated from the Latin word “illustris,” meaning “bright” or “shining.” It is formed by adding the suffix “-ous,” which means “full of” or “characterized by,” to the root “illustri-,” derived from “illustris.”

“Illustrious” is used to describe someone or something that is highly distinguished, renowned, or famous for their achievements, accomplishments, or exceptional qualities. It is often associated with individuals who have made significant contributions to their field, gained great recognition, or achieved notable success.

The term is commonly applied to people who have attained high positions or achieved great accomplishments, such as renowned leaders, scholars, artists, scientists, or historical figures. It emphasizes their outstanding reputation, remarkable talents, and noteworthy achievements.

For example, an illustrious career may refer to a long and successful professional journey marked by significant achievements and recognition. An illustrious lineage may highlight a prestigious family with a history of notable accomplishments and influential members.

The term “illustrious” carries a positive connotation, suggesting admiration and respect for the individual or entity being described. It is often used in formal contexts, such as literature, speeches, or awards ceremonies, to honor and celebrate extraordinary individuals and their remarkable contributions to society or their respective fields.