glaucous

adjective
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

Keep scrolling for more

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. BostonGlobe.com, "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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about glaucous

Listen to Our Podcast about glaucous

Statistics for glaucous

Last Updated

21 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for glaucous

The first known use of glaucous was in 1671

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on glaucous

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with glaucous

Comments on glaucous

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a period when something is suspended

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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!