glass ceiling


Definition of glass ceiling 

: an intangible barrier within a hierarchy that prevents women or minorities from obtaining upper-level positions

Examples of glass ceiling in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

By all means, darling, reach for the stars, break that glass ceiling, climb every mountain—just be nice about it. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "Breaking Down the Outrage Cycle Around Michelle Wolf," 30 Apr. 2018 But every glass ceiling is held up by beams, columns, structures and supports. Washington Post, "The women-in-power revolution: In state legislatures, #TimesUp, guys," 11 Jan. 2018 The flap brought renewed attention to Sparks' performance, which shattered a glass ceiling long keeping women from the prominent role of commentator. Isaac Stanley-becker,, "'I prefer to hear a male voice': Women commentators find harsh judgment at World Cup," 26 June 2018 Matt and Julie White, who are remodeling their home in Newport Beach, Calif., have installed a 16-foot wall, designed by Scott Hutcheon, in an interior courtyard with a pool under a glass ceiling. WSJ, "When Your Home Has Its Very Own Jungle," 24 May 2018 But the director's chair isn't the only area where women are facing a seemingly bullet-proof glass ceiling., "17 Hollywood Women Share Their Advice For Breaking Into A Male Space," 20 Mar. 2018 Although the job ultimately went to former Atlanta Hawks coach and Spurs assistant Mike Budenholzer, Hammon’s interview bolstered her reputation as the most likely candidate to shatter the NBA’s glass ceiling. Tom Orsborn, San Antonio Express-News, "Spurs promote Hammon to the front row," 27 June 2018 Not to steal the glass ceiling metaphor, but to push through boundaries that have been in place for a really long time. Dan Shinaberry, Teen Vogue, "Mean Girls on Broadway Stars Ashley Park and Kate Rockwell's Dressing Room Tour," 2 June 2018 Ten years, two presidential campaigns and one intact glass ceiling. Fox News, "Media declare Cabinet chaos," 30 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'glass ceiling.' 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 glass ceiling

1984, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

15 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for glass ceiling

The first known use of glass ceiling was in 1984

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More Definitions for glass ceiling

glass ceiling


English Language Learners Definition of glass ceiling

: an unfair system or set of attitudes that prevents some people (such as women or people of a certain race) from getting the most powerful jobs

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What made you want to look up glass ceiling? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to reject or criticize sharply

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