In geology (and mineralogy in particular), lustre is defined as being the ability of a mineral to reflect light.

The nature, intensity and quality of this light varies greatly with mineral structure and therefore makes a useful diagnostic tool.
When describing the lustre of a mineral, the following qualifiers can be used:

Further qualification of lustre is provided by using the terms shiny, dull or splendant to describe the intensity.
For example, talc can be described as having a pearly to greasy, shiny lustre.

Lus"ter, 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 to illuminate is perh. a different word, and akin to L. lucere to be light or clear, to shine. See Lucid, and cf. Illustrious, Lustrum.]


Brilliancy; splendor; brightness; glitter.

The right mark and very true luster of the diamond. Sir T. More.

The scorching sun was mounted high, In all its luster, to the noonday sky. Addison.

⇒ There is a tendency to limit the use of luster, in this sense, to the brightness of things which do not shine with their own light, or at least do not blaze or glow with heat. One speaks of the luster of a diamond, or of silk, or even of the stars, but not often now of the luster of the sun, a coal of fire, or the like.


Renown; splendor; distinction; glory.

His ancestors continued about four hundred years, rather without obscurity than with any great luster. Sir H. Wotton.


A candlestick, chandelier, girandole, or the like, generally of an ornamental character.


4. Min.

The appearance of the surface of a mineral as affected by, or dependent upon, peculiarities of its reflecting qualities.

⇒ The principal kinds of luster recognized are: metallic, adamantine, vitreous, resinous, greasy, pearly, and silky. With respect to intensity, luster is characterized as splendent, shining, glistening, glimmering, and dull.


A substance which imparts luster to a surface, as plumbago and some of the glazes.


A fabric of wool and cotton with a lustrous surface, -- used for women's dresses.

Luster ware, earthenware decorated by applying to the glazing metallic oxides, which acquire brilliancy in the process of baking.

© Webster 1913.

Lus"ter, Lus"tre, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Lustred (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Lustering, ∨ Lustring.]

To make lustrous.

[R. & Poetic]

Flooded and lustered with her loosened gold. Lowell.

© Webster 1913.

Lus"tre (?), n.

Same as Luster.

© Webster 1913.

Lus"ter, Lus"tre (?), n. [L. lustrum: cf. F. lustre.]

A period of five years; a lustrum.

Both of us have closed the tenth luster. Bolingbroke.


© Webster 1913.

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