glau·​cous | \ ˈglȯ-kəs How to pronounce glaucous (audio) \

Definition of glaucous

1a : of a pale yellow-green color
b : of a light bluish-gray or bluish-white color
2 : having a powdery or waxy coating that gives a frosted appearance and tends to rub off

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Other Words from glaucous

glaucousness noun

Glaucous Has Greek and Latin Origins

Glaucous came to English—by way of Latin glaucus—from Greek glaukos, meaning "gleaming" or "gray," and has been used to describe a range of pale colors from a yellow-green to a bluish-gray. The word is often found in horticultural writing describing the pale color of the leaves of various plants as well as the powdery bloom that can be found on some fruits and leaves. The stem glauc- appears in some other English words, the most familiar of which is glaucoma, referring to a disease of the eye that can result in gradual loss of vision. Glauc- also appears in the not-so-familiar glaucope, a word used to describe someone with fair hair and blue eyes (and a companion to cyanope, the term for someone with fair hair and brown eyes).

Examples of glaucous in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The real hazards are the predators—mainly Arctic foxes, but also glaucous gulls—that await the goslings on their route from the cliff bottom to the water’s edge. National Geographic, "Why day-old geese jump off cliffs—and how some survive," 28 Mar. 2019 Birds noted on South Monomoy Island included 2 blue-winged teal, 3 Northern shovelers, 14 Northern pintails, a glaucous gull, 5 American oystercatchers, and a snowy owl., "Bird sightings on Cape Cod," 30 Apr. 2018 Hens and chicks and their relations do have a certain rubbery, glaucous charm. Bart Ziegler, WSJ, "Feisty not Thirsty: The 7 Best Drought-Tolerant Flowers," 15 June 2017

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

1671, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for glaucous

Latin glaucus, from Greek glaukos gleaming, gray

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Time Traveler for glaucous

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The first known use of glaucous was in 1671

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Cite this Entry

“Glaucous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Sep. 2020.

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