AskDefine | Define brilliantine

Dictionary Definition

brilliantine n : a pomade to make the hair manageable and lustrous

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. A hair pomade, making the hair shine brilliantly.
    1921 "I wouldn't regret it," said Linda, "if I took Eileen by the shoulders and shook her till I shook the rouge off her cheek, and the brilliantine off her hair, and a million mean little subterfuges out of her soul. Gene Stratton-Porter, Her father`s daughter Chapter 4.
  2. A smooth shiny, luxurious fabric, often of alpaca or vicuña.
    Sunday June 11, 1916 No. 112. Bathing Suit of Brilliantine in Navy Blue and Black, trimmed with white mohair braid and buttons (no bloomers). Special 3.95 — The New York Times, *.pdf


  1. To apply brilliantine to the hair.

Extensive Definition

Brilliantine is a hair-grooming product and was created at the turn of the 20th century, when French perfumer Ed. Pinaud presented a product he called Brillantine (from the French brillant meaning "brilliant") at the 1900 Exposition Universelle in Paris. It consisted of a perfumed and colored oily liquid and was intended to soften men's hair, including beards and moustaches, and give it a glossy, well-groomed appearance.


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