gleam

noun
\ˈglēm \

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 \ 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

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.

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

The album—one long and deeply satisfying piece, and three brief ones—gleams with new sonic delights, mostly drawn from the interplay of three accomplished and unconventional pianists: David Virelles, David Bryant and Luis Perdomo. Larry Blumenfeld, WSJ, "‘Double Up, Plays Double Up Plus’ and ‘Dirt… and More Dirt’ Reviews," 22 May 2018 Those yellow jersey gleam as brightly as ever but in a modern age, Brazil's soccer has lost some of its twinkle. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "Brazil is no longer the class of world soccer," 6 July 2018 And, once again, all three gel-to-powder shades (Iridescent Pink 003, Fine Gold 003, and Bronze Nectar 003) can be worn separately, or layered for a runway-ready gleam. refinery29.com, "Pat McGrath Shares Her Runway Highlighting Technique," 13 June 2018 As torchbearers for the counterculture, Vouga, 30, and his partner, Lauren Tackberry, 27, have created a home in Berkeley that is refreshingly devoid of the superficial gleam that disposable modernism often emits. Leilani Marie Labong, San Francisco Chronicle, "Peace, love and a ’70s vibe rock a Berkeley home," 1 June 2018 Table spacing is generous, noise levels are manageable and everything gleams. Phil Vettel, chicagotribune.com, "Review: Glam-rich Blvd is ready for its close-up," 24 May 2018 Kaffir lime leaves gleam, dark as jade, shredded down to the width of pine needles. Ligaya Mishan, New York Times, "Burmese Cuisine, a New York Rarity, at Rangoon Spoon," 24 May 2018 But today’s reality was no more than a gleam in the eye of the suffragists who descended on Nashville, Tenn., in July 1920 for the climactic battle of the decades-long struggle to win the vote for women. Fergus M. Bordewich, WSJ, "‘The Woman’s Hour’ Review: Friends and Foes of the 19th Amendment," 21 June 2018 The dissonance between the soap-bubble gleam of the ideal and the jagged loneliness that lies within is the animating force at the heart of this touchingly multivalent work. Jeremy Eichler, BostonGlobe.com, "Behind the white picket fence, portraits of a jagged loneliness," 13 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In the trailer for Ocean’s 8, Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock) stares at the Metropolitan Museum of Art with the same gleaming confidence that her brother, Danny Ocean (George Clooney), looked at casinos in other installments in the Oceans franchise. refinery29.com, "Why Ocean's 8 Is Different From Every Women's Heist Movie That Came Before It," 31 May 2018 The malevolent Seekers of The Host, the 2013 adaptation of the novel by Stephanie Meyer, pursue their prey in gleaming chrome Lotus Evoras. Darryn King, WIRED, "Director Andrew Niccol Lives in His Own Truman Show (And So Do You)," 4 May 2018 Dance Tango in the Barolo Palace themed after Dante's Divine Comedy and ascend to its intriguing lighthouse gleaming over the cityscape. Maita Barrenechea, Town & Country, "How to Plan a Trip to South America," 5 Oct. 2016 The Roc's gleaming white, 385-foot wings will cast long, slender shadows as the plane moves into the bright California sun. Michael Belfiore, Popular Mechanics, "Say Hello to Stratolaunch, the World's Largest Plane," 17 Apr. 2012 In the distance, many of the mountain peaks sported gleaming wind turbines like candles on a cake. Doug Hansen, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Hiking Spain's wild coast," 12 July 2018 But oh, that music is achingly lovely, and so is Jack O’Brien’s somber direction, with the lurid lights of the carousel gleaming relentlessly out from between choreographer Justin Peck’s ever-moving dancers. Constance Grady, Vox, "Your guide to the 17 most important nominees at this year’s Tonys," 7 June 2018 Bassam inherited a liking for luxurious touches and a sense of chocolate as art: his boutiques gleamed with gold, glass and marble. The Economist, "Bassam Ghraoui died on May 1st," 10 May 2018 The sentences are laid on like varnish, coat after coat, until the text gleams with a high shine. Ryu Spaeth, The New Republic, "Gerald Murnane’s Endless Island," 4 May 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near gleam

GLBT

gld

glead

gleam

gleamer

gleamingly

gleamless

Statistics for gleam

Last Updated

22 Aug 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for gleam

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

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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 \

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

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Comments on gleam

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