glass ceiling

noun

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 The 2016 drama series — which has just been added to Hulu — centers on Ginny Baker (Kylie Bunbury), a 23-year-old pitcher who shatters the glass ceiling by becoming the first woman to play in the major leagues. Los Angeles Times, "The five TV shows we can’t get enough of this week," 11 May 2020 The second highest, hardest glass ceiling is pretty good too, right? Lisa Lerer, New York Times, "Democrats Eye a Vice-Presidential Consolation Prize for Women," 9 Mar. 2020 Sadly, that glass ceiling is yet to be broken in real life. Bonnie Stiernberg, Glamour, "The Veep Series Finale Gave Selina Meyer and Julia Louis-Dreyfus an Ending They Deserve," 13 May 2019 Despite his age and extremist views, Sanders seemed better able to harness the excitement and energy of the Democratic base than the woman who was supposed to break the political glass ceiling. Jonathan S. Tobin, National Review, "Hillary’s Bernie-Bashing Will Backfire," 23 Jan. 2020 With the reopening, the Künstlerhaus exhibition spaces sit on the building’s upper floor atop a sweeping staircase framed by faux-marble walls, columns, restored terrazzo floors and a sparkling glass ceiling. New York Times, "A Big Idea and a Big Donor Bring a New Art Museum to Austria," 11 Mar. 2020 Those looking to lighten their moods and brighten their days, however, should indulge in this strangely soothing video of a pair of ducks walking on a translucent glass ceiling. Cady Lang, Time, "Take a Break and Hit Play on This Enthralling Video of Ducks Waddling Around a Glass Roof," 5 Dec. 2019 Townhouse: On Woodward, Townhouse is known for its all-glass atrium with a retractable glass ceiling. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, "Don't miss these restaurants at the Free Press' Wine + Food Experience," 11 July 2019 But any overcoming has so far been limited by the all-too-evident glass ceiling. Caroline Fraser, The New York Review of Books, "Warren in the Trap," 13 Feb. 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of glass ceiling

1984, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about glass ceiling

Time Traveler for glass ceiling

Time Traveler

The first known use of glass ceiling was in 1984

See more words from the same year

Statistics for glass ceiling

Last Updated

27 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Glass ceiling.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/glass%20ceiling. Accessed 31 May. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for glass ceiling

glass ceiling

noun

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

More from Merriam-Webster on glass ceiling

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with glass ceiling

Comments on glass ceiling

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

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!