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

Just before Lima stepped into the limo, Ta dabbed on a brownish matte lip and a wash of illuminating highlighter to her décolletage—just the thing for catching the inevitable gleam of the camera flash. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "How Adriana Lima Got Ready for the amfAR Gala in Cannes," 18 May 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, Pudong fills the top floors of a 58-story all-glass skyscraper that gleams like crystal among the futuristic skyscrapers along Shanghai’s iconic Bund waterfront, and its interiors exude the glamor of 1930’s Art Deco. Todd Plummer, Harper's BAZAAR, "How to Do Shanghai in 12 Hours or Less," 14 Dec. 2018 But Oura is clearly winning the battle with this silent royal endorsement, gleaming from Harry’s hand to the millions of people ogling the pictures from his official trip Down Under. Cheryl Wischhover, Vox, "Everything you need to know about Prince Harry’s sleep tracker fitness ring," 19 Oct. 2018 And this season was no exception, with designer Olivier Rousteing swathing his army in hyper-exaggerated, '80s-leaning silhouettes in crisp whites and metallic silvers that showed plenty of gleaming skin. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "5 Bombshell Beauty Lessons Straight From the Balmain Runway," 28 Sep. 2018 Next came Joanna, dressed in a gold-and-crimson robe, her blond hair gleaming in the morning sun. Anne Thériault, Longreads, "Queens of Infamy: Joanna of Naples," 3 July 2018 Polishing creates a finish that can range from matte to gleaming. Kristin Hohenadel, ELLE Decor, "Taking a Shine," 17 May 2012 Many of the city’s 7,500 homeless live in tents, cardboard boxes or on the open street in the shadow of gleaming new skyscrapers built during the city’s ongoing technology boom. Jim Carlton, WSJ, "San Francisco Businesses Are Split on Tax Boost to Fight Homelessness," 31 Oct. 2018 Many athletes and visitors will arrive through the international airport’s gleaming new terminal three, another infrastructure improvement that was in the works before the games were awarded to Indonesia. Stephen Wright, The Seattle Times, "As Asian Games host, Indonesia has more at stake than sport," 13 Aug. 2018 Hotel-wise, check in to the Casa San Agustín, which features 17th-century colonial architecture—think frescoes, wooden beams in the ceiling, and a gleaming white facade—in the heart of the city's Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Bridget Hallinan, Condé Nast Traveler, "Flight Deal: U.S. to Cartagena from $250 Round-Trip," 7 Aug. 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

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on gleam

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with gleam

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for gleam

Spanish Central: Translation of gleam

Nglish: Translation of gleam for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of gleam for Arabic Speakers

Comments on gleam

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