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 Carmen Mola, a novelist publishing under a pen name, seemed to shatter a glass ceiling. New York Times, 3 Nov. 2021 Maybe Rogers bumped into a glass ceiling of disbelief — not his own, but that of the Giants’ decision-makers. Scott Ostler, San Francisco Chronicle, 21 Sep. 2021 The emerald cut diamond was inspired by classic Art Nouveau aesthetics and the vaulted glass ceiling of the Grand Palais. Alexandra Macon, Vogue, 12 Nov. 2021 Here is a look at women in government, education, business and sports who have broken through the glass ceiling and become the first in their respective positions in the United States. CNN, 21 Oct. 2021 Craig Ransom, now the business manager at Local 346 of the carpenters’ union, offers his career as an example of the glass ceiling Black workers face. New York Times, 6 Nov. 2021 Never mind that measures to close the gender success gap in labor markets usually benefit white women over women of color, the former having a glass ceiling to shatter, while for the latter, especially Black women, the ceiling is concrete. Kovie Biakolo, Essence, 17 Aug. 2021 According to Mulvey, the glass ceiling for nonwhite professors in higher education is nothing new. Micah Washington, Jade Boone, Deborah Kim, ABC News, 24 July 2021 On this past election night, across the state, more female candidates broke the proverbial glass ceiling than ever before. Robert Gehrke, The Salt Lake Tribune, 5 Nov. 2021

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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Time Traveler for glass ceiling

Time Traveler

The first known use of glass ceiling was in 1984

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Dictionary Entries Near glass ceiling

glass catfish

glass ceiling

glass cement

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Statistics for glass ceiling

Last Updated

16 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Glass ceiling.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jan. 2022.

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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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