\ 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

Mike Morgan glanced out the window and noticed the dog and deer were sniffing each other through the fence. Karen Pilarski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A deer and dog had a wild encounter in a Wauwatosa backyard," 10 June 2019 The undergraduates glanced around and exchanged shy smiles. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "The Head of Prince William and Kate Middleton's College Predicted Their Marriage," 4 May 2019 But DePetris quickly glances over the fact that one of the other four non-delinquent countries is . . Declan Leary, National Review, "Trump’s Polish Defense Deal," 18 June 2019 Because x-rays would penetrate a traditional flat telescope mirror, focusing them requires cylindrical mirrors that gather x-ray photons in glancing, low-angle reflections off inner surfaces. Daniel Clery, Science | AAAS, "Telescope designed to study mysterious dark energy keeps Russia’s space science hopes alive," 10 June 2019 There are echoes here across the whole of Sacks’s voluminous oeuvre—tales differently told, glancing allusions to people encountered elsewhere, fragments of autobiography. Simon Callow, The New York Review of Books, "Truth, Beauty, and Oliver Sacks," 6 June 2019 Lowry chuckled before knowingly glancing at the man sitting to his right: Kawhi Leonard. Matthew De Silva, Quartz, "The Toronto Raptors used a high-risk business strategy to make the NBA Finals," 4 June 2019 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

At first glance, any comparison of Venice and Chicago may seem ludicrous. Blair Kamin,, "Column: Letter from Venice: A precarious paradise, engaged in a longtime dialogue with Chicago," 5 July 2019 At first glance, David Levinthal’s Iwo Jima appears to be a colorized version of the famed image that earned photographer Joe Rosenthal a Pulitzer Prize. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "What David Levinthal’s Photos of Toys Reveal About American Myth and Memory," 3 July 2019 At first glance, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite feels like a more complicated Pokémon Go. Matthew Gault, Time, "Harry Potter: Wizards Unite," 2 July 2019 At first glance, Hamburg’s inner city neighborhood’s give the impression of a true cycling city. Copenhagenize Design Co., WIRED, "The 20 Most Bike-Friendly Cities on the Planet, Ranked," 27 June 2019 At first glance, archetypal American director Ron Howard does not seem the ideal candidate to make a documentary on Italy’s international operatic sensation, the man with the voice from God, Luciano Pavarotti. Kenneth Turan, Detroit Free Press, "Ron Howard crafts an emotional tribute to Pavarotti," 27 June 2019 At first glance, Ruffner’s installation looks like a barren wasteland — an archipelago of brown islands rising from the floor, each landmass studded with a few glass stumps. Washington Post, "A new installation at the Renwick combines sculpture, augmented reality and hope," 27 June 2019 Alton Strupp, Louisville Courier Journal At first glance, the Faul Family Riverside Farm in Sulphur, Kentucky, resembles any other, with long stretches of grass where cows, chicken and pigs graze. Laurel Deppen, The Courier-Journal, "Saltwater shrimp from a landlocked state? How this Kentucky farm is making it happen," 27 June 2019 At first glance, the 12 Pack Deluxe Canvas Cooler seems quite ordinary. Bradley Ford, Popular Mechanics, "The Best Soft Coolers for Any Outing," 25 June 2019

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

10 Jul 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

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