1

gleam

play
noun \ˈglēm\

Definition of gleam

  1. 1 a :  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. 2 :  a brief or faint appearance <a gleam of hope>

gleamy

play \ˈglē-mē\ adjective

Examples of gleam in a sentence

  1. He saw the gleam of a flashlight in the distance.

  2. the rich gleam of the polished wood

Origin and Etymology of gleam

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


First Known Use: 15th century


2

gleam

verb

Definition of gleam

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 :  to shine with or as if with subdued steady light or moderate brightness

  3. 2 :  to appear briefly or faintly <a light gleamed in the distance>

  4. transitive verb
  5. :  to cause to gleam

Examples of gleam in a sentence

  1. The sun gleamed on the water.

  2. His eyes were gleaming with delight.

1508

First Known Use of gleam

1508

Synonym Discussion of gleam

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>.

GLEAM Defined for English Language Learners

1

gleam

play
noun \ˈglēm\

Definition of gleam for English Language Learners

  • : a small, bright light

  • : a bright or shining quality

  • : a small amount or sign of something


2

gleam

verb

Definition of gleam for English Language Learners

  • : to shine brightly


GLEAM Defined for Kids

1

gleam

play
noun \ˈglēm\

Definition of gleam for Students

  1. 1 :  a faint, soft, or reflected light <the first gleam of dawn>

  2. 2 :  a bright or shining look <She had a gleam in her eyes.>

  3. 3 :  a short or slight appearance <a gleam of hope>


2

gleam

play
verb

Definition of gleam for Students

gleamed

gleaming

  1. 1 :  to shine with a soft light

  2. 2 :  to give out gleams of light



Seen and Heard

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to decrease in size, extent, or degree

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • alphabet-magnets
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ