glim·​mer | \ ˈgli-mər How to pronounce glimmer (audio) \
glimmered; glimmering\ ˈglim-​riŋ How to pronounce glimmer (audio) , ˈgli-​mə-​ \

Definition of glimmer

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to shine faintly or unsteadily The candles glimmered in the windows.
b : to give off a subdued unsteady reflection Her white satin dress glimmered in the dusk.
2 : to appear indistinctly with a faintly luminous quality



Definition of glimmer (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : a feeble or intermittent light the first glimmer of dawn
b : a subdued unsteady shining or sparkle
2a : a dim perception or faint idea : inkling gave them a glimmer of what they could expect
b : hint, spark a glimmer of intelligence a glimmer of hope

Choose the Right Synonym for glimmer


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 glimmer in a Sentence

Verb Candles glimmered in the windows of the inn. Moonlight glimmered on the pond. Noun the glimmer of a distant star Their first meeting with the new boss gave them a glimmer of what they could expect.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The otherwise tranquil lilies — created by Phoenix immersive entertainment production company Walter Productions — will glimmer during the day and glow with LED lights in the evening. Kimi Robinson, The Arizona Republic, 3 Nov. 2021 The lights glimmer nightly for five minutes every hour on the hour until 1 a.m. Originally planned as a temporary display, the light show becomes a permanent fixture by popular demand. Cnn Editorial Research, CNN, 26 July 2021 Compared with other see-through species, such as dragonflies, glasswings are even more adept at fluttering through the rainforest unnoticed because their wings don’t shine or glimmer in sunlight. Anil Oza, Science | AAAS, 22 June 2021 These sheeny shades seen in the March 2011 issue have resurfaced this summer in soft hues on fabrics that glimmer from brands like Oseree, Isa Boulder, Sara Cristina, and Maiyo. Madeline Fass, Vogue, 18 May 2021 The result is a pale-hued but light and bright space filled with sumptuous fabrics and objects that softly glimmer and shine. R. Stephanie Bruno,, 17 Dec. 2020 But in 2019, Huntsville music future started finally started to glimmer. Ben Flanagan |, al, 31 Dec. 2019 For as long as Dolly has her rhinestones glimmering and her signature bold lip and colorful eyeshadow applied, the world will go on. Perri Ormont Blumberg, Southern Living, 24 Apr. 2020 Wheeler also finds a spark of hope glimmering within the pandemic. CBS News, 12 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun McLaughlin then missed a 45-yard field goal wide left with 9:04 remaining in the fourth quarter, giving the Bengals a glimmer of hope. Nate Ulrich, USA TODAY, 7 Nov. 2021 Paul, a 93% free-throw shooter, missed one from the line that would have sealed the win instead of giving Embiid a glimmer of highlight-reel hope. Dan Gelston, Star Tribune, 22 Apr. 2021 Very tall trees are everywhere in this vast forest, with only a glimmer of light reaching the ground. Brenda Yenke, cleveland, 23 Dec. 2021 The search, which began Thursday morning, transfixed a nation desperate for a glimmer of optimism after the explosion, which killed at least 190 people, injured thousands and displaced many more from devastated neighborhoods. Raja Abdulrahim, WSJ, 6 Sep. 2020 Now, there’s a glimmer of hope in the form of a massive infrastructure bill signed last month that White House officials say represents the largest single infusion of money into Indian Country. Gillian Flaccus, oregonlive, 23 Dec. 2021 Now, there’s a glimmer of hope in the form of a massive infrastructure bill signed last month that White House officials say represents the largest single infusion of money into Indian Country. Gillian Flaccus And Becky Bohrer, Anchorage Daily News, 23 Dec. 2021 Another early study from Hong Kong that hasn’t been peer-reviewed offers one other glimmer of hope, finding that Omicron moves into the lungs much more slowly than earlier versions of the virus. Los Angeles Times, 23 Dec. 2021 On Tuesday though, a glimmer of risk-on optimism returned to global markets. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, 21 Dec. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'glimmer.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of glimmer


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


1590, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for glimmer

Verb and Noun

Middle English glimeren; akin to Old English glǣm gleam

Learn More About glimmer

Time Traveler for glimmer

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near glimmer



glimmer gowk

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for glimmer

Cite this Entry

“Glimmer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for glimmer



English Language Learners Definition of glimmer

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to shine in a weak, faint, or unsteady way



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

: a weak, unsteady light
: a faint idea or suggestion of something
: a small amount or sign of something


glim·​mer | \ ˈgli-mər How to pronounce glimmer (audio) \
glimmered; glimmering

Kids Definition of glimmer

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to shine faintly and unsteadily



Kids Definition of glimmer (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a faint unsteady light
2 : a faint suggestion a glimmer of trouble
3 : a small amount a glimmer of hope

More from Merriam-Webster on glimmer

Nglish: Translation of glimmer for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of glimmer for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!