Dr. Cornelius Edison Bright, 47, a Washington dentist and former instructor at Howard University's School of Dentistry, died of Hodgkin's disease Tuesday at Washington Hospital Center.

He had graduated with horors from the Howard dental school in 1960, and was appointed an instructor in the department of oral surgery.

Born in Jacksonville, Fla., Dr. Bright received a bachelor of science degree from Florida A&M University in 1951. He then served for four years as a dental technoligist with the U.S. Air Force in Europe and Asia.

Dr. Bright was a member of the Robert T. Freeman Dental Society, the D.C. Dental Society and the American Dental Association.

He was a member of the Metropoli-president in 1976. He also had served as president of the District of Columbia Golf Club, a chapter of the National Negro Golf Association, from 1972 through 1974, and was appointed to a second term in 1976.

A Mason, Dr. Bright was a member of the NAACP and of Gethsemane Baptist Church in Washington.

He is survived by his wife, Alma Lewallen Bright, and three childrn, Cornelia, Mark and Kim Leah, all of the home in Silver Spring; his mother, Lucille Bright, of Tallahassee, Fla., and eight brothers and sisters, Sylvestor, of Bridgeport, Conn., Arthur, of Stratford, Conn., Sarah Smith, of Dallas, Tex., Charles, of Columbia, Md., Lucille Wilson, of Gainesville, Fla., Richard, of Washington, Dolores Bass, of St. Marys Fla., Richard, of Washington, Dolores Bass, of St. Marys, Ga., and Marguetta Hall, of Hyattsville.