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Especially in law, defined by clear terms, standards, and rules so as to avoid ambiguity or room for interpretation. Used especially as "bright-line rule" or "bright-line standard." After the economic crash, several bright-line rules were established.

bright shiny object

Something that is widely appealing or attention-grabbing for its superficial characteristics, but which is usually not useful, substantial, or long lasting. Recent technological advances seem to be just a series of bright shiny objects, consuming all of our attention for a while before something shinier comes along.
See also: bright, object

bright young thing

A young person who is exuberant, ambitious, and glamorous. A: "Daisy is a bright young thing, isn't she?" B: "I know! I wish I had an ounce of her verve and style."
See also: bright, thing, young

bright-line rule

In law, a clarification of ambiguity in rules and regulations, so that they cannot be interpreted in multiple ways. Since we have two different interpretations of this law, there should be a bright-line rule for it, if there isn't one already.
See also: rule

bright spark

A person who is regarded as clever or intelligent. The term can also be used sarcastically to mean the opposite. Primarily heard in UK, Australia, New Zealand. Timmy's the bright spark of the family—he graduated at the top of his class. Some bright spark at the auto repair shop forgot to tighten the lugnuts on my wheels after he rotated my tires.
See also: bright, spark

bright spot

A positive occurrence in an otherwise sad or negative situation. His granddaughter coming to visit him in the nursing home was always a bright spot in Jim's day.
See also: bright, spot

bright and breezy

cheery and alert. You look all bright and breezy this morning. Bright and breezy people on a gloomy day like this make me sick.
See also: and, breezy, bright

bright and early

very early in the morning or the workday. Yes, I'll be there bright and early. I want to see you here on time tomorrow, bright and early, or you're fired!
See also: and, bright, early

*bright as a button

intelligent; quick-minded. (Usually used to describe children. *Also: as ~.) Why, Mrs. Green, your little girl is as bright as a button. You can't fool Jane. She may be only six years old, but she's bright as a button.
See also: bright, button

*bright as a new pin

bright and clean; shiny. (*Also: as ~.) After Joe cleaned the house, it was as bright as a new pin. My kitchen floor is bright as a new pin since I started using this new floor wax.
See also: bright, new, pin

*bright idea

a clever thought or new idea. (*Typically: have ~; get ~; give someone ~.) Now and then I get a bright idea. John hardly ever gets a bright idea.
See also: bright, idea

bright-eyed and bushy-tailed

Fig. awake and alert. (Often used ironically, as in the first example. The idea is that one is like a frisky animal, such as a squirrel.) Jill: Hi, Jane! How are you on this beautiful morning? Jane: Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, just as you might expect, since I've only had three hours of sleep. Despite the early hour, Dennis was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.
See also: and

look on the bright side

Fig. consider the positive aspects of a negative situation. Look on the bright side. Things could have been much worse than they are.
See also: bright, look, on, side

on the bright side

Fig. [ignoring the bad for a moment] considering the positive aspects of a situation. (See also look on the bright side.) On the bright side, the car you wrecked was covered by insurance.
See also: bright, on, side

one's future looks bright.

Fig. One has a promising future. Tom's future looks bright and he will do well if he keeps working hard.
See also: bright, future, look

bright and early

very early in the morning You'll have to be at the airport bright and early to make that flight.
See also: and, bright, early

the bright side

also a bright side
the good parts or features of a mostly unpleasant situation There's a bright side to this – at least you can learn from your mistake.
Usage notes: often used in the form look on the bright side: They tried to look on the bright side when their flight was rerouted to another city.
See also: bright, side

a bright spark

  (British & Australian)
an intelligent person
Usage notes: This phrase is often used humorously to mean the opposite.
Some bright spark was clearing up and threw my invitation away.
See also: bright, spark

a bright spot

a pleasant or successful event or period of time when most other things are unpleasant or not successful (often + in ) The only bright spot in Liverpool's disastrous performance was a stunning goal in the second half.
See also: bright, spot

be as bright as a button

  (British & Australian)
to be intelligent and able to think quickly She was bright as a button - always asking questions and quick to help.
See also: bright, button

be bright and breezy

to be happy and confident I get a bit depressed at times, whereas Gill's always bright and breezy.
See also: and, breezy, bright

bright and early

very early in the morning You're up bright and early.
See also: and, bright, early

the bright lights

exciting and attractive people and places in big cities I went in search of the bright lights, but all I found was poverty and loneliness.
See look on the bright side
See also: bright, lights

be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed

to be full of energy and eager to do things She was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed the next morning, despite having been up half the night.
See also: and

look on the bright side

to try to see something good in a bad situation Look on the bright side. The accident insurance might pay for a new car.
See also: bright, look, on, side

bright and early

Early in the morning, at dawn, as in It's a long trip, so we'll have to start out bright and early. The bright here presumably alludes to the brilliance of the dawning sun, which has long been noted by poets. [Early 1800s]
See also: and, bright, early

bright-eyed and bushy-tailed

Eager and alert, as in Here is my new kindergarten class, all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. The allusion here is to the appearance of a squirrel, which with its beady eyes and bushy tail looks ready for anything. [1930s]
See also: and

bright idea

A clever thought or plan. For example, John had a bright idea for saving space-we would each have a terminal but share the printer . This term uses bright in the sense of "intelligent" or "quick-witted" and may be employed either straightforwardly, as in the example above, or ironically, as in Jumping in the pool with your clothes on-that was some bright idea. [Late 1800s]
See also: bright, idea

bright side

A favorable or hopeful aspect, as in Bob is inclined to look on the bright side of everything. This idiom uses bright in the sense of "lit up with gladness or hope." [First half of 1800s] Also see glass is half full.
See also: bright, side

bright-eyed and bushy-tailed

mod. alert and ready to do something; as alert and as active as a squirrel. You look all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed this morning.
See also: and


n. the eyes. (From bright eyes.) Don’t you close your brights and look bored when I’m talking to you!
See also: bright
References in periodicals archive ?
Connected solutions such as next generation Brighter One can be integrated into Brighter's platform The Benefit Loop, in which patient data is continuously combined with additional relevant data to improve treatment and quality of life.
Brighter World Lighting is a dynamic lighting company that focuses on superior lighting technology and solutions.
As a council, we have been working with Brighter Foods to develop their plans, and we are delighted that they have come to fruition.
The team at Brighter have a real enthusiasm for the tourism product in Iceland and so we look forward to progressing with an exciting PR campaign throughout 2013.
The problem is not harder working, brighter children, it is dumb downed exams that have little test of the subject which is why so many employers are critical of the literacy and numeracy skills of school leavers.
Contact Brighter Living Partnership on 01704 501024.
Vida talks of Hannah's death as "the most traumatic occurrence of her life", yet she felt "compelled to put together" her book - Brighter Days.
The centre is named after Diane Engelhardt, wife of Admiral insurance Chief Executive Henry Engelhardt, following her significant personal contribution to the Building Brighter Futures Appeal, which helped turn the idea into a reality.
I've spoken to her - she had a good night and she is a lot brighter," said Mr Clifford.
The Brighter Side of Death" is a work of deep philosophy, offering a personal memoir that seeks to answer the question that plagues all of our minds from time to time.
Bank of America is teaming with Brighter Planet to offer a new Visa credit card that helps customers invest in the development of clean, renewable energy projects.
Since 1985, the NY*NJ*CT chapter has been offering hope and a brighter future for seriously ill children and their families throughout the tri-state area.
Several families will have brighter holidays this year, thanks to the efforts of Encino-Oaks Republican Women Federated.
They represent the first graduating class from the Brighter Choice Charter School for Boys and the companion Brighter Choice Charter School for Girls.
These products include reflective polarizers, known as brightness-enhancement filters, which are applied to electronic screens for laptops, cell phones, camcorders, rear-projection televisions, and air-traffic control systems to make LCDs brighter, more uniformly lit, and easier to read.