\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

Trump leaned forward in his chair, his hands tented in front of him and frequently glanced over at the Russian president. Vladimir Isachenkov, The Seattle Times, "Trump questions US intel, not Putin, on Russia 2016 meddling," 16 July 2018 John Rukavina, hard hat strapped to his head and trusty Red Wing boots protecting his feet, grasped the bars of the ladder attached to the towering antenna, glanced upward and headed for the top. Patrick M. O'connell,, "At 80, ironworker who has dangled atop Chicago's tallest skyscrapers is still climbing," 9 June 2018 Analysis of the video shows Vasquez glanced downward for nine of the 12 seconds immediately preceding the crash. Pete Bigelow, Car and Driver, "Video of Fatal Uber Crash Reveals Shortcomings of Human and Automated Driving," 22 Mar. 2018 The Marlins gifted the second run when catcher J.T. Realmuto tried to pick Frazier off third and his throw glanced off the runner’s helmet. Craig Davis,, "Mets cash in repeatedly with two-out runs to sink Straily, Marlins," 1 July 2018 Then Vardy and Rashford force a turnover in Belgium’s end and try to break in 2-on-2, but Rashford’s cross is a touch high, and Vardy only gets a glancing noggin on it. Andrew Das, New York Times, "Belgium Beats England, but Faces Tougher World Cup Bracket," 29 June 2018 The Royals had a chance to score in the fourth inning, when Rosell Herrera was credited a one-out double on a line drive that glanced off the heel of Denard Span’s outstretched glove. Maria Torres, kansascity, "Homers again do in Ian Kennedy and the Royals as they lose to Mariners," 29 June 2018 Making the Raptors fade away James' most memorable shot was, of course, the finessed 10-foot right-handed floater from the left side that glanced off the backboard and fell into the basket like victory confetti in Game 3. Bill Livingston,, "LeBron James and the toolbox, the repertoire, the sweep: Bill Livingston (photos)," 7 May 2018 The relay throw to third glanced off Pollock’s leg mid-slide and caromed toward the third-base dugout. Nick Piecoro, azcentral, "Diamondbacks take series after A.J. Pollock’s dash home," 6 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

At first glance, Seattle’s reputation for rain and gray skies may dissuade families from checking out all that the city has to offer. Megan Barber, Curbed, "The best things to do with kids in 13 U.S. cities," 20 Nov. 2018 With the ponderous weight of expectation likely in the back of her mind, the less-is-more approach is a smart one, as evidenced by the latest glance behind the curtain Cobain posted late Tuesday night (June 12). Gil Kaufman, Billboard, "Frances Bean Cobain Posts Clip of Intense New Song: Listen," 13 June 2018 Schubert didn't return his look, nor did the two exchange glances or shake hands during the entirety of the forum. Angela Hart, sacbee, "After Stephon Clark shooting, candidate challenging incumbent DA says he'd address racial inequality," 12 May 2018 From a glance at mock drafts, all five Blue Devils are projected to be picked, most in the first round. Mike Reader, charlotteobserver, "NBA draft combine list gives Duke fans something to brag – or cry - about | Charlotte Observer," 5 May 2018 It's repeated in the silhouetted people looking down out of apartment windows or the nervous glances — sometimes hostile, sometimes ambiguous — directed at Pedro on the street. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Hard Paint' ('Tinta brutta'): Film Review | Berlin 2018," 20 Feb. 2018 Not surprisingly, Reggie and Aretha are still unicorns here--and they've grown used to the glances and stares. Roy S. Johnson,, "Interracial in Alabama: 'White privilege is real,' husband says, 'and white people need to understand that'," 24 Jan. 2018 The soft decorator earth tones worn by the older, affluent gay men that Cunanan sees as potential prey perfectly capture that subset in the same way the fleeting glance at ’90s club fashion encapsulates Miami’s gay scene. Tony Bravo, San Francisco Chronicle, "Costumes help tell the story in “The Assassination of Gianni Versace”," 15 Jan. 2018 That resulting blend is evident from first glance at the apartment, which flaunts a myriad of rainbow colors carefully selected and bestowed upon antique furniture from around the world. Kelsey Kloss, ELLE Decor, "House Tour: A Soho Apartment That Blends Whimsical Colors With Antique Furniture," 3 Nov. 2016

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

27 Nov 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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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 enclose within walls

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