Pretentious vs Brilliant - What's the difference?

pretentious | brilliant |

As adjectives the difference between pretentious and brilliant

is that pretentious is marked by an unwarranted claim to importance or distinction while brilliant is shining brightly.

As a noun brilliant is

a finely cut gemstone, especially a diamond, having many facets.



Alternative forms



(en adjective)
  • Marked by an unwarranted claim to importance or distinction.
  • Their song titles are pretentious in the context of their basic lyrics.
  • Ostentatious; intended to impress others.
  • Her dress was obviously more pretentious than comfortable.


    * poseur * See also


    * unpretentious

    Derived terms

    * pretentiously * pretentiousness


    * * *




    (en adjective)
  • Shining brightly.
  • the brilliant lights along the promenade
  • (of a colour) Both bright and saturated.
  • butterflies with brilliant blue wings
  • (of a voice or sound) having a sharp, clear tone
  • Of surpassing excellence.
  • The actor's performance in the play was simply brilliant .
  • Magnificent or wonderful.
  • Highly intelligent.
  • She is a brilliant scientist.


    * (shining brightly) glittering, shining * * * (surpassing excellence) excellent, distinctive, striking, superb (obsolete except in UK usage) * (magnificent or wonderful) exceptional, glorious, magnificent, marvellous/marvelous, splendid, wonderful (obsolete except in UK usage) * (highly intelligent) brainy, ingenious * See also


    (en noun)
  • A finely cut gemstone, especially a diamond, having many facets.
  • * Alexander Pope
  • This snuffbox — on the hinge see brilliants shine.
  • * 1891 , Arthur Conan Doyle, A Case of Identity
  • “And the ring?” I asked, glancing at a remarkable brilliant which sparkled upon his finger.
  • (printing) A small size of type.
  • A kind of cotton goods, figured on the weaving.