\ 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

By glancing at another woman's epic interactions with fame — Boyd was once harassed by Beatles fans in an alley — Swift is reckoning with her own. Rebecca Farley,, "Taylor Swift On Writing Songs About Boyfriends & Muses," 10 July 2018 These days, a glance at your phone is the same as glancing at your watch. Amy Dickinson, Detroit Free Press, "Family wedding could revive family feud," 5 May 2018 Windows Phone debuted in 2010 with Microsoft’s Metro design philosophy, and a focus on glancing at your phone for information instead of digging in and out of apps. Tom Warren, The Verge, "I miss Windows Phone," 7 Apr. 2018 The trend may have to do with the admittedly charming experience of leafing through a book in person, rather than simply glancing at its cover online, reports Yibada. Kelsey Kloss, ELLE Decor, "This Chinese Bookshop With Amazing Design Is A Fairytale For Bookworms," 12 July 2016 Yura thinks, glancing over at the corpse next to him in his hospital room. Linda Kinstler, Longreads, "Angrily Experiencing the Best Days of Our Lives," 27 June 2018 After the shock of the proposal, Mia said yes, and then glanced around. Sue Strachan,, "Surprise proposal sets stage for a fabulous New Orleans wedding," 8 Mar. 2018 And while male candidates’ flaws seem to be glanced at with bleary-eyed nonchalance, women’s are examined with a microscope. Jennifer Wright, Harper's BAZAAR, "Why It's Impossible to Be a Likeable Female Politician," 11 Jan. 2019 Alexa's brother, Victor Vincent, glanced at the ceiling as the precious pocket of air grew smaller. Todd Pitman, Fox News, "AP WAS THERE: 2013 typhoon kills thousands in Philippines," 15 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

While at first one can only let their jaw hit the floor and simply covet the face, the body, and the confidence that Ratajkowski exudes, this look (at second glance) is an ode to the queen of Camp herself, Cher. Carrie Goldberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Emily Ratajkowski Channels Cher in a Naked Dress at the Met Gala," 7 May 2019 When Daenerys finally met Sansa last night, which Twitter loved, glances were had. Jill Gutowitz, Glamour, "The Women Were Absolutely Savage on Last Night's Game of Thrones Premiere," 15 Apr. 2019 To really see at a glance what’s in your fridge, store prepared foods, prepped veggies, and infused waters in glass containers. Emma Bazilian, House Beautiful, "3 Easy Ways to Redesign Your Fridge," 1 Apr. 2019 The lady’s enigmatic glance and lavish, yet monochrome, attire provide ample excuse for conjecture as to... Tom L. Freudenheim, WSJ, "A Sumptuous Painting Surrounded by Stories," 15 Mar. 2019 Where knowing glances or subtle facial expressions might hint at what a character is thinking in an interactive and visual medium like a video game, in text, they are often stated to the reader in a more explicit or revealing way. Michael Moore, The Verge, "The Nier: Automata novel gives fans yet another playthrough," 9 Oct. 2018 Regulars shoot each other knowing glances across the chaos: Simple. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, "Loud, Crowded, Grease-Stained, and Gloriously Drunk: Where the World Eats After Hours," 8 Oct. 2018 The monthly Moonlight Walking Tours offer a glance at the graves of notable figures in Orlando history. Dan Wine,, "7 things to do in Orlando this summer — and they're all free," 12 July 2018 At first glance, Total Security 2019 looks quite different from its 2018 predecessor. Ian Paul, PCWorld, "Bitdefender Total Security 2019 review: This AV suite builds a better autopilot," 13 Sep. 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

15 May 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).


one that collects or salvages junk

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