1

gleam

noun \ ˈglēm \

Definition of gleam

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 :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

Recent Examples of gleam from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of gleam

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


2

gleam

verb

Definition of gleam

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

Examples of gleam in a Sentence

  1. The sun gleamed on the water.

  2. His eyes were gleaming with delight.

Recent Examples of gleam from the Web

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.

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

gleam

noun

Definition of gleam for English Language Learners

  • : a small, bright light

  • : a bright or shining quality

  • : a small amount or sign of something


gleam

verb

Definition of gleam for English Language Learners

  • : to shine brightly


GLEAM Defined for Kids

1

gleam

noun \ ˈglēm \

Definition of gleam for Students

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

2

gleam

verb

Definition of gleam for Students

gleamed; gleaming
1 :to shine with a soft light
2 :to give out gleams of light

Synonym Discussion of gleam

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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