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

Keep scrolling for more

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 Jenner posted a video holding up Stormi’s hand in front of the Christmas tree while her daughter wore a glimmering open ring with two enormous diamond stones on each side. Kaitlyn Frey,, "Did Kylie Jenner Buy 22-Month-Old Daughter Stormi a Diamond Ring for Christmas?," 27 Dec. 2019 The words float onscreen, in Dickinson’s handwriting, glimmering like a spiderweb—the best kind of message from beyond. Emily Nussbaum, The New Yorker, "Mixed Débuts on Apple TV+ in “The Morning Show” and “Dickinson”," 18 Nov. 2019 Yet while a second All-Star selection suggests a career body of work and sustained performance, the Red Sox are thrilled about the emergence of Bogaerts as the star whose future had glimmered so brightly on his ascent to the majors. Alex Speier,, "An early riser in Red Sox system, Xander Bogaerts hasn’t stopped shooting for the stars," 9 July 2019 Camellias adorned ethereal feathers as prints, while ears of wheat were constructed in glimmering gold sequins. Washington Post, "Chanel celebrates its artisans in glimmering Paris show," 4 Dec. 2019 Best dressed or no, the talent behind the fashions shimmered and glimmered on TV’s big night. oregonlive, "Emmys 2019: Best and worst dressed on the red carpet," 22 Sep. 2019 How it's built Spanning four levels and designed by the late British architect Zaha Hadid, Daxing’s glimmering structure resembles a giant starfish from above, with six curved spokes spreading out from a central hub. Marianna Cerini, Condé Nast Traveler, "Inside Daxing, Beijing’s Massive New International Airport," 29 Oct. 2019 The Eiffel Tower glimmered in the backdrop; admired by the equally starry front row, including Cindy Crawford, Andie MacDowell, Catherine Deneuve and Charlotte Gainsbourg. Tuxedo styles with plunging V-neck were one key silhouette. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Dior celebrates nature to kick off Paris Fashion Week," 24 Sep. 2019 Rising above it, ancient Delphi glimmered from the mountainside like a polished gem — as smooth and simple as the stone at its very heart that once marked the center of the world. Liz Alderman, New York Times, "Voyage to the Center of the World," 9 July 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Our effort to collect this data shows a glimmer of its promise. Jessica Huseman, ProPublica, "The Price of America’s Inability to Track Child Deaths from Abuse and Neglect? Sometimes, More Lives.," 18 Dec. 2019 Our effort to collect this data shows a glimmer of its promise., "xperts have long suspected that the United States badly undercounts the number of children who die from abuse and neglect. The voluntary reporting system relied on for decades may be off by at least 200 percent, they say, missing thousands of fatalities.," 15 Dec. 2019 This season appeared to be providing a glimmer of hope over a three-game winning streak that saw UM rally for impressive victories at Pittsburgh and Florida State and then return home for a Senior Day blowout of Louisville. David Furones,, "A win at Duke can’t erase Hurricanes’ crushing loss to FIU — it can only start the recovery," 29 Nov. 2019 But the song can also be understood as containing a glimmer of brightness in the dark. Antony Dapiran, Quartz, "The soundtrack of this year’s Hong Kong protests marks a somber turn from the Umbrella Movement," 25 Sep. 2019 But there was also a glimmer of hope: XLP-2 — this extremely rare condition wreaking havoc on their little boy for the past six years — could possibly be cured with a stem cell transplant. Heidi Stevens,, "Column: After going ‘through hell and back,’ 11-year-old boy is saved by his little sister’s stem cells," 10 Oct. 2019 Some still welcome the glimmers of clinical benefits Biogen revealed. Kelly Servick, Science | AAAS, "Skepticism persists about revived Alzheimer’s drug after conference presentation," 5 Dec. 2019 The new data contained glimmers of good news: Worldwide, industrial emissions are on track to rise 0.6 percent this year, a considerably slower pace than the 1.5 percent increase seen in 2017 and the 2.1 percent rise in 2018. New York Times, "Carbon Dioxide Emissions Hit a Record in 2019, Even as Coal Fades," 3 Dec. 2019 But the grip has loosened just a bit, giving the rest of the conference a glimmer of hope. C.j. Doon,, "College football overreaction index, Week 14: Don’t bury Nick Saban and the Alabama dynasty just yet," 2 Dec. 2019

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Statistics for glimmer

Last Updated

9 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Glimmer.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 19 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for glimmer


How to pronounce glimmer (audio)

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on glimmer

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for glimmer

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with glimmer

Spanish Central: Translation of glimmer

Nglish: Translation of glimmer for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of glimmer for Arabic Speakers

Comments on glimmer

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


to insert between existing elements

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Eponym Quiz

  • rubens painting
  • Which is the best synonym of bowdlerize?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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