\ˈglan(t)s \
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 & Antonyms for glance

Synonyms: Verb

browse, dip, glimpse, glint, peek, skim

Synonyms: Noun

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

Antonyms: Verb

gaze, stare

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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

Derrick Bolton, dean of admissions for Stanford University’s Knight-Hennessy Scholars graduate program, said application readers may glance at honors designations, but don’t dwell on them. Melissa Korn, WSJ, "You Graduated Cum Laude? So Did Everyone Else," 2 July 2018 Customers flocked into her shop, glancing over Brown’s neatly catalogued cardboard boxes of vintage baseball cards and fat binders of Pokémon cards. Katie Park,, "92 years in, Zerns Farmer's Market says it will fold in September," 25 June 2018 The 3-year-old princess settled in right in front of mom Kate Middleton and would constantly glance at her Royal Air Force booklet for information on the aircrafts passing in the sky before looking up to clap in enjoyment., "Savannah Phillips Covering Prince George’s Mouth on the Palace Balcony Is the Ultimate Royal GIF," 9 June 2018 Everhart got up off the ground and glanced toward his mother Susan, sitting quietly in the stands with her chin in her right hand with her elbow resting on her knee. Mick Mccabe, Detroit Free Press, "Basketball runs in the family for Cardinal Mooney's Daniel Everhart," 8 Feb. 2018 The two laughed and glanced at each other, their profiles answering Bozarth’s final question. Jill Tucker,, "A cabinetmaker, a dead bar owner, a lounge singer, an uncle and, finally, a dad," 15 June 2018 Plate umpire James Hoye made an emphatic safe call, but the Yankees asked for a video review and replays appeared to show Sanchez's mitt just glancing Olson's jersey. Ronald Blum,, "With Help Of Reversal, Yankees Top A's 7-6, Stop Tiny Skid," 12 May 2018 Williams’ nose is broken Further tests revealed that Nick Williams did, in fact, break his nose Monday night when a fly ball glanced off the right-field wall and hit him in the face in the eighth inning. Scott Lauber,, "Phillies GM Matt Klentak not ruling out pursuit of 'rent-a-players' on trade market," 19 June 2018 When the Australian glanced over his left shoulder on the final bend to check where Bannister was, the Englishman raced past him on the right and won by about four yards in 3:58.8. Michael Democker,, "40th running of the Crescent City Classic: photo gallery," 31 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

On first glance, the most noticeable thing about Chang might be her haircut: shaved down at the sides, her long black hair wrapped in a loose bun balanced atop her head. Anne Branigin, The Root, "Sophia Chang Ain’t Nothing to Fuck Wit’," 25 June 2018 That’s because the signs of an unhealthy scalp aren’t so evident on first glance. Adam Hurly, GQ, "Here's How to Fix Your Dry, Itchy Scalp," 15 June 2018 But on first glance, the graveyard looked like it had been abandoned for decades. Michael David Lukas, New York Times, "From Cairo to Kolkata, Traces of a Vibrant Jewish Past," 8 June 2018 That became apparent on a second glance, this one made through a pair of polarized glasses. Shannon Tompkins Staff Writer, San Antonio Express-News, "June spawn signals peak in Texas sunfish action," 7 June 2018 That became apparent on a second glance, this one made through a pair of polarized glasses. Shannon Tompkins, Houston Chronicle, "June spawn signals peak in Texas sunfish action," 3 June 2018 On first glance, the president’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Iran nuclear agreement may look more like an example of Republican extremism than Trumpist idiosyncrasy. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Trumpism Is Having Its Best Week Ever," 10 May 2018 Yet Riedling fills his canvases will small details that draw the viewer into the piece, studying what might not reveal itself on first glance. Sarah Bonnette,, "Artscape: Mandeville artist Lloyd Riedling gets his artwork into Jazz Fest on first try," 25 Apr. 2018 On first glance, the Red and White teams appear to be fairly even. Jake Lourim, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville football releases rosters for spring game Friday night," 11 Apr. 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


Middle English glencen, glenchen


see glance entry 1

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Statistics for glance

Last Updated

16 Oct 2018

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 \
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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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 holds something together

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