\ ˈglan(t)s How to pronounce glance (audio) \
glanced; glancing

Definition of glance

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to strike a surface obliquely so as to go off at an angle the bullet glanced off the wall
2a : to make sudden quick movements dragonflies glancing over the pond
b : to flash or gleam with quick intermittent rays of light brooks glancing in the sun
3 : to touch on a subject or refer to it briefly or indirectly the work glances at the customs of ancient cultures
4a of the eyes : to move swiftly from one thing to another
b : to take a quick look at something glanced at his watch

transitive verb

1 archaic

a : to take a quick look at
b : to catch a glimpse of
2 : to give an oblique path of direction to:
a : to throw or shoot so that the object deflects from a surface
b archaic : to aim (something, such as an innuendo) indirectly : insinuate



Definition of glance (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : a quick intermittent flash or gleam
b archaic : a sudden quick movement
2a archaic : a rapid oblique movement
b : a deflected impact or blow
3a : a swift movement of the eyes
b : a quick or cursory look was good at sizing people up at a glance

4 archaic

a : a brief satirical reference to something : gibe
b : allusion
at first glance
: on first consideration at first glance the subject seems harmless enough

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Other Words from glance


glancer noun

Synonyms for glance

Synonyms: Verb

bounce, carom, rebound, ricochet, skim, skip

Synonyms: Noun

cast, eye, gander, glimpse, look, peek, peep, regard, sight, view

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Examples of glance in a Sentence


Glancing down, she noticed her shoe was untied. I glanced at my watch. He sat quietly, glancing through a magazine. She glanced up from her book when he entered the room.


He gave me a quick glance over his shoulder. I took a glance at the newspaper this morning.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Conklin glanced at his silent phone as Matt Patricia was shown on the screen making a call to a different prospect. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Tyler Conklin's NFL draft journey ends with family, long-awaited pick," 29 Apr. 2018 The shock, all these years later, is that his final pass into the end zone fell incomplete, glancing off his receiver’s hand and onto the turf at Lucas Oil Stadium. Gregg Doyel, Indianapolis Star, "Doyel: And in his spare time, Purdue’s student body president plays QB," 13 Apr. 2018 The sun would play a different role when centerfielder Lorenzo Cain couldn't find Bryant's deep fly in the eighth, the ball glancing off his glove for a triple. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Cubs 5, Brewers 2: Defense remains issue as errors pave way for Chicago's four-run ninth," 7 Apr. 2018 At one point, Loughner glances up, as if looking for a surveillance camera, then smiles, rubs his heart, kisses his fingers and makes a sign with both hands. Dennis Wagner, USA TODAY, "FBI files: Jared Loughner apparently wrote poem for 2011 killing spree," 6 Apr. 2018 Brittaney glanced at the clock on the stove to record the moment hope was lost: 11:43 a.m. on Nov. 21, 2017. Claire Galofaro, The Seattle Times, "After the overdose: A family’s journey into grief and guilt," 28 Jan. 2019 Walk inside and glance up at the giant white board and the first four menu items, in English and Korean, are derived from man’s best friend. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "Inside the grim scene of a Korean dog meat farm, just miles from the Winter Olympics," 12 Feb. 2018 Sam Katula glanced up at the conference championship banners hanging from the rafters in the fieldhouse at Waukesha North High School. Andrew Gruman, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "With Katula steering the ship, Waukesha North boys basketball chasing elusive Classic 8 Conference title," 17 Jan. 2018 After Mark Trumbo struck out, Schoop hit a bouncer that glanced off the glove of Bird at first base and into right field. David Ginsburg,, "Sandoval singled winning run in the 11th," 11 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Future Log: This four-page spread is a year-at-a-glance calendar with future events, goals, and long-term tasks. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "What Is a Bullet Journal? Everything You Need to Know Before You BuJo," 30 Jan. 2019 Coupled with tartan trousers and a cobalt blue hoodie, the change-up, upon first glance, skewed subversive. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "Ansel Elgort Goes Peroxide Blonde—And It's Pretty Major," 18 Dec. 2018 At first glance, the list of available games on the PlayStation Classic has some notable omissions. Andrew Webster, The Verge, "PlayStation Classic review: a journey through the exciting, awkward days of early 3D games," 27 Nov. 2018 At first glance, all looks well: The scene shows the star's stylish home, complete with shiplap, a bench, and a ledge with letters where Joanna spells out sweet messages. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Joanna Gaines's Sons Just Played the Best Prank on Their Mom," 27 Nov. 2018 From first glance, Netflix's upcoming show Elite looks like a crossover between Gossip Girl and How to Get Away With Murder. Prep school uniforms and unsolved murders aside Elite is guaranteed to bring the drama — just in time for Halloween. Marilyn La Jeunesse, Teen Vogue, "Meet the Cast of "Elite," Netflix's Thrilling New Mystery Series," 2 Oct. 2018 Gown number one, Chiara's ceremony look, was a classic yet romantic ballgown at first glance, complete with a lace bodice, mock neckline, and a semi-sheer full tulle skirt with a seemingly endless train. Carrie Goldberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Chiara Ferragni Wore Three Dior Haute Couture Looks For Her Epic Wedding in Italy," 2 Sep. 2018 At first glance, the heaviness that settled over Prescott — where the fallen crew members' hometown pauses each year to remember the loss in its past — in those first days after the deaths seemed to have lifted. Bayan Wang, azcentral, "Prescott, still healing, honors 19 fallen Granite Mountain Hotshots five years later," 30 June 2018 At first glance, a documentary about Elvis Presley doesn’t feel like a natural subject for Eugene Jarecki. Kimber Myers,, "In the documentary 'The King,' Eugene Jarecki hits the road to explore byways branching from Elvis Presley to Trump's America," 28 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'glance.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of glance


15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


1503, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for glance

Verb and Noun

Middle English glencen, glenchen

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Statistics for glance

Last Updated

20 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for glance

The first known use of glance was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for glance



English Language Learners Definition of glance

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to look at someone or something very quickly
: to hit something and bounce off at an angle



English Language Learners Definition of glance (Entry 2 of 2)

: a quick look


\ ˈglans How to pronounce glance (audio) \
glanced; glancing

Kids Definition of glance

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to strike at an angle and fly off to one side The ball glanced off a tree.
2 : to give a quick look She glanced at her watch.



Kids Definition of glance (Entry 2 of 2)

: a quick look

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More from Merriam-Webster on glance

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with glance

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for glance

Spanish Central: Translation of glance

Nglish: Translation of glance for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of glance for Arabic Speakers

Comments on glance

What made you want to look up glance? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to boil down or concentrate

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