Many luminaries were attending the opening of the opera season.2. An object, especially a celestial body, that emits effulgence: John, the astronomer, discovered a new luminary, a bright star in the Southern Hemisphere.
The sun is just one of the thousands of luminaries in the sky.3. Etymology: from Late Latin luminare, "light, torch, lamp, heavenly body"; literally "that which gives light"; from Latin lumen, luminis, "light"; related to lucere, "to shine".
The sense of "a notable person" is first recorded in the 1690s, although the Middle English word also had a figurative sense of "a source of spiritual light, an example of holiness".