\ 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

And although only glancing references are made to the Mueller investigation and Russia's U.S. election manipulation, anyone aware of Donald Trump's deference toward Putin will feel a certain queasiness watching this insidious saga unfold. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Citizen K': Film Review | Venice 2019," 31 Aug. 2019 Even a glancing blow from Dorian could jeopardize his business prospects. Washington Post, "Florida’s Atlantic Coast is preparing for a direct hit from Hurricane Dorian," 30 Aug. 2019 The analysis is intended for use by firefighters and utility companies but is only glanced at by insurers, which have been assembling their own risk assessments for decades. Julie Cart, The Mercury News, "What to know as California’s peak fire months loom," 30 Aug. 2019 Chicago took 20 shots, placing eight of them on frame and glancing one off the crossbar. Julia Poe, Pro Soccer USA, "Orlando Pride relies on versatility as backline copes with loss of top defenders," 23 Aug. 2019 Rotational hits—when a player’s helmet is struck by a glancing blow—were particularly bad for the midbrain’s white matter, the team reports today in Science Advances. Eva Frederick, Science | AAAS, "Just one season of playing football—even without a concussion—can cause brain damage," 7 Aug. 2019 Some close to Obama are downplaying the glancing blows. NBC News, "Democrats fret Obama could become collateral damage in nomination battle," 2 Aug. 2019 Relatively speaking, Ridgecrest and Trona got a glancing blow, receiving very strong (level 7) shaking and strong (level 6) shaking, respectively. Rong-gong Lin Ii,, "Ridgecrest earthquake packed the power of 45 nuclear bombs, but its impact was muted," 13 July 2019 Hall was checked on the mound by the AL coaches and trainers after taking a glancing blow off the back of his left leg. Baltimore Sun Staff,, "Orioles prospects DL Hall, Grayson Rodriguez pitch scoreless innings in All-Star Futures Game," 7 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In this narrow space, the Great and the Good attending the party could only see things in fragments and at a glance. Brian T. Allen, National Review, "Time for a Riot: Camp Fashion at the Met, and a Real Riot at the Stonewall," 31 Aug. 2019 Tart cherries are tricky to size up at a glance: Flavors can range from gently tangy to very sour, and just looking at them offers no reliable clues. Karen Stabiner, New York Times, "How to Tell if That Peach Is Ripe? Ask Southern California’s ‘Produce Hunter’," 27 Aug. 2019 At a glance, the gown is a stunning example of one-of-a-kind fashion. Robin Givhan, Washington Post, "‘The dress comes out of pain’: Patience Torlowei creates fashion from the highs and lows of modern Africa," 22 Aug. 2019 At a glance: The Cougars lost the last five games of 2018 and haven’t had a winning season since 2009. San Diego Union-Tribune, "2019 Valley League prep football preview," 17 Aug. 2019 At a glance, there’s plenty in his filmography to discuss; there may be no one else at Reeves’s level who’s appeared in such diverse, culturally dominant films over such a sustained period of time. Aja Romano, Vox, "Keanu Reeves, explained," 16 Aug. 2019 At a glance, Johnson's Brexit plan is simpler than May's: get a new agreement with the EU or crash out on October 31 with no deal. Luke Mcgee, CNN, "The UK can't even have a proper constitutional crisis," 7 Aug. 2019 At a glance, the recent growth — not a tidal wave, but a steady little stream of new spirits — may seem odd. M. Carrie Allan, Washington Post, "‘Bottled in bond’ was created to protect drinkers in the 1800s. Now the label has a new appeal.," 29 July 2019 At a glance, Great Gold appears to simply be a new iteration of a business that has changed and evolved multiple times over the last two years. Justin Phillips,, "Foxsister to close and become Italian-focused Great Gold," 5 July 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

4 Sep 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).


recurring in steady succession

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