gleam

noun
\ ˈglēm How to pronounce gleam (audio) \

Definition of gleam

 (Entry 1 of 2)
1a : a transient appearance of subdued or partly obscured light the gleam of dawn in the east
b(1) : a small bright light the gleam of a match
(2) : glint a gleam in his eyes
2 : a brief or faint appearance a gleam of hope

gleam

verb
gleamed; gleaming; gleams
Definition of gleam (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to shine with or as if with subdued steady light or moderate brightness
2 : to appear briefly or faintly a light gleamed in the distance

transitive verb

: to cause to gleam

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Other Words from gleam

Noun

gleamy \ ˈglē-​mē How to pronounce gleam (audio) \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for gleam

Verb

flash, gleam, glint, sparkle, glitter, glisten, glimmer, shimmer mean to send forth light. flash implies a sudden outburst of bright light. lightning flashed gleam suggests a steady light seen through an obscuring medium or against a dark background. lights gleamed in the valley glint implies a cold glancing light. glinting steel sparkle suggests innumerable moving points of bright light. the sparkling waters glitter connotes a brilliant sparkling or gleaming. glittering diamonds glisten applies to the soft sparkle from a wet or oily surface. glistening wet sidewalk glimmer suggests a faint or wavering gleam. a distant glimmering light shimmer means shining with a wavering light. a shimmering satin dress

Examples of gleam in a Sentence

Noun He saw the gleam of a flashlight in the distance. the rich gleam of the polished wood Verb The sun gleamed on the water. His eyes were gleaming with delight.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In a way, this stylistic evolution was not such a leap; many traditional objects had embodied the burnished gleam of Art Deco, with its reliance on chaste lines and polished finishes. New York Times, "How Japonisme Forever Changed the Course of Western Design," 11 Feb. 2021 Jewelry should sparkle, but exposure to dust and dirt, lotions and soaps, even air and moisture can dull your favorite pieces over time and rob them of their gleam. Lauren Smith Mcdonough And Carolyn Forte, Good Housekeeping, "How to Clean Your Jewelry Like a Pro," 20 Jan. 2021 So keep your eye on the aspens: their white trunks gleam in the fall sun, and their yellow leaves shake and shimmer, like so many tiny hands waving you in the right direction. Dave Hurteau, Field & Stream, "How to Hunt Ruffed Grouse," 24 Dec. 2020 As mother and wife Katie Otto, Katy Mixon has a gleam in her eye that is simultaneously warm and wicked. Los Angeles Times, "8 TV shows perfect for watching with your family during the holidays," 23 Dec. 2020 At night, the city lights gleam as restaurant patrons spill out onto the streets. Samya Kullab, The Christian Science Monitor, "'This is our history': In Mosul, life and resilience shines," 9 Dec. 2020 Inside, the house is full of contemporary flash softened with homier touches — the gleam of white marble, for example, against wainscoting, simple kitchen cabinets and three stone fireplaces. Judy Rose, Detroit Free Press, "Location of lavish $2.2M Birmingham home is a big selling point," 19 Dec. 2020 Most riffs on the ancient Greek myths fixate on grandiosity: the gleam and power of Zeus and his extended family. Simon Parkin, The New Yorker, "The Best Video Games of 2020," 18 Dec. 2020 In winter morning dew gathers on the grass, and Mediterranean pines gleam defiantly in the watery light. The Economist, "Rural France Lockdowns have taught the world about isolation," 16 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb As the sun passes during the day, the frames gleam with changing prismatic colors against the darker glass. Frank Edgerton Martin, Star Tribune, "New Mpls. building is one of the city's finest works of contemporary architecture," 18 Dec. 2020 Harold Cain stood on the fringes of a slender sweep of grass in Washington Park, counting the minutes until the 30-foot Christmas tree in front of him would gleam with the hundreds of icicle lights woven around its branches. Alice Yin, chicagotribune.com, "As Washington Park showcases official Christmas tree, community leaders reflect on neighborhood’s recent progress," 12 Dec. 2020 Our shelves now gleam with wood polish and sunlight. Laurie Hertzel, Star Tribune, "Bookmark: Releasing books is a joyous thing to do," 30 Oct. 2020 The classical details gleam against a new, bright red wool upholstered cushion, commissioned by the museum to match the piece’s original appearance. Steven Litt, cleveland, "Cleveland Museum of Art refreshes British gallery with splash of color, new purchases, references to sins of empire," 30 Aug. 2020 The boxes that result are slick, gleaming, and perfect, such as a smaller brass number at MoMA from 1968. Kyle Chayka, The New Republic, "The Minimized Life," 15 May 2020 The cathedral-high ceiling, gleaming wood floor, illuminated bar and exhibition kitchen remain, but they’ve been joined by some communal tables and other informal touches. Washington Post, "At two hotel restaurants, there’s room for improvement," 9 Jan. 2020 Like most of the concert industry, the Von Braun Center’s gleaming new venue has been quiet and dark since March, after opening January and hosting acts like Jason Isbell, Billy Strings and Queensryche. Matt Wake | Mwake@al.com, al, "The fate of Huntsville’s Concerts in the Park this year," 26 May 2020 Crowds began forming around 1 p.m. as hundreds of people milled beneath the gleaming facades of Causeway Bay, Hong Kong’s shopping district. Austin Ramzy, BostonGlobe.com, "Hong Kong police fire tear gas as protesters resist China’s grip," 24 May 2020

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

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1508, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for gleam

Noun

Middle English gleem, from Old English glǣm; akin to Old English geolu yellow — more at yellow

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Time Traveler for gleam Time Traveler

The first known use of gleam was in the 15th century

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Statistics for gleam

Last Updated

27 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Gleam.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gleam. Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for gleam

gleam

noun

English Language Learners Definition of gleam

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a small, bright light
: a bright or shining quality
: a small amount or sign of something

gleam

verb

English Language Learners Definition of gleam (Entry 2 of 2)

: to shine brightly

gleam

noun
\ ˈglēm How to pronounce gleam (audio) \

Kids Definition of gleam

 (Entry 1 of 2)
1 : a faint, soft, or reflected light the first gleam of dawn
2 : a bright or shining look She had a gleam in her eyes.
3 : a short or slight appearance a gleam of hope

gleam

verb
gleamed; gleaming
Kids Definition of gleam (Entry 2 of 2)
1 : to shine with a soft light
2 : to give out gleams of light

Choose the Right Synonym for gleam

Verb

gleam, sparkle, and glitter mean to send forth light. gleam is used when light shines through something else or is reflected or shines against a dark background. The lighthouse gleamed through the fog. sparkle is used for something that has several changing points of light. Water sparkled in the sunlight. glitter is used for a brilliant sparkling of light. The jewels glittered brightly.

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More from Merriam-Webster on gleam

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for gleam

Nglish: Translation of gleam for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of gleam for Arabic Speakers

Comments on gleam

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