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

Definition of glance

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to take a quick look at something glanced at his watch
b of the eyes : to move swiftly from one thing to another
2 : to strike a surface obliquely so as to go off at an angle The bullet glanced off the wall.
3a : 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
4 : to touch on a subject or refer to it briefly or indirectly The work glances at the customs of ancient cultures.

transitive verb

1 : 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
2 archaic
a : to take a quick look at
b : to catch a glimpse of



Definition of glance (Entry 2 of 2)

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

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of glance in a Sentence

Verb 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. Noun 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 Another Arctic air mass is set to deliver a glancing blow to northeast Colorado starting on Sunday, and that’ll likely drop temperatures suddenly. Chris Bianchi, The Denver Post, "Colorado weather: What’s with these sudden temperature drops?," 7 Nov. 2019 Murray rarely even glanced downfield and kept the governor on his legs all afternoon. Jeremy Cluff, azcentral, "Arizona Cardinals' Kyler Murray skyrocketing up NFL quarterback rankings in rookie season," 25 Oct. 2019 On the second play of overtime, Fromm’s pass glanced off the hands of receiver Tyler Simmons and was intercepted by Israel Mukuamu. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Burrow brings No. 5 Tigers back to beat No. 7 Florida 42-28," 12 Oct. 2019 When his next attempt went halfway down then rattled out, Murray glanced at Engelland and shared a laugh. Jeff Mcdonald,, "Hungry and healthy, Dejounte Murray gives Spurs hope," 1 Oct. 2019 But some of the more reliable computer models predicted a turn northward that would have Dorian hug the coast, delivering a glancing blow, the National Hurricane Center said. Washington Post, "Dorian gains fury but might spare Florida a direct hit," 30 Aug. 2019 But early indications are that the state's inshore fishery suffered only a glancing blow from what fisheries managers and Texas anglers hope was this winter's worst stretch of cold weather. Shannon Tompkins, Houston Chronicle, "Marine life, temperature warming back up," 6 Jan. 2018 Bremer inadvertently sent the ball into his own net as a devilish delivery from a free-kick glanced off the centre-back's shoulder, with Jota doubling the advantage after the break with a clinical finish from the centre of the box., "Wolves vs Torino Preview: Where to Watch, Buy Tickets, Live Stream, Kick Off Time & Team News," 26 Aug. 2019 No boy had ever so much as glanced in my general direction. Rebecca Schuman, Longreads, "I’ll Be Loving You Forever," 14 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun At first glance, President Trump’s reelection chances don’t look good. Matthew Continetti, National Review, "The Reserve Army of the GOP," 2 Nov. 2019 At first glance, the assumption with this alignment is Michigan would be predisposed to throw the ball. Rainer Sabin, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan football's offense still has Jim Harbaugh's fingerprints all over it," 1 Nov. 2019 With its climbing pattern reminiscent of traditional toile, you'd be forgiven for not noticing the naughty motif at first glance. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "This Innocent-Looking Toile Is Hiding a Naughty Motif," 30 Oct. 2019 The result was a taproom that at first glance could be confused with an REI: carabiners function as tap handles. Andre Meunier, oregonlive, "Base Camp serves up adventure, the outdoors and beer: Portland Breweries Series," 29 Oct. 2019 At first glance, Halloween and sweet treats don’t seem to go together. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "How Trick-Or-Treating Became Associated with Halloween," 28 Oct. 2019 The aim is to teach parents how to spot vaping, drug or alcohol paraphernalia that may be right under their nose but unrecognizable at first glance. Carissa D. Lamkahouan, Houston Chronicle, "Pearland ISD educators target vaping," 21 Oct. 2019 Ed, who at first glance is curious and shy, challenges Nat to a game of badminton and the two form a man’s sports acquaintance over post-match drinks. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Prose is crisp, compelling in ‘Agent Running in the Field’," 21 Oct. 2019 At first glance there seems little reason to think that the same won’t happen to Japan. B.f., The Economist, "Japan’s Rugby World Cup success was improbable. Can it keep it up?," 20 Oct. 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 2


1503, in the meaning defined at sense 3a

History and Etymology for glance

Verb and Noun

Middle English glencen, glenchen

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Statistics for glance

Last Updated

13 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for glance

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

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More Definitions for glance


How to pronounce glance (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for glance

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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).


meddlesome, informal, or unofficial

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