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

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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


Candles glimmered in the windows of the inn. Moonlight glimmered on the pond.


the glimmer of a distant star Their first meeting with the new boss gave them a glimmer of what they could expect.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

More than one ton of fireworks will glimmer above the at the 93rd , one of the largest pyrotechnics displays in the West. Sara Cagle,, "First-rate events for the Fourth of July, all close to home," 30 June 2019 The rich, satiny gold, bronze, and pewter shadows that rimmed his lash lines glimmered whenever the light hit his eyes. Devon Abelman, Allure, "Why Taemin Won't Apologize For His Androgynous Aesthetic Anymore," 15 Mar. 2019 In a similar vein, hairstylist Damien Boissinot slicked models’ lengths back against the scalp, but secured a knot at the nape of the neck that highlighted Altuzarra’s glimmering statement earrings. Monica Kim, Vogue, "American Punk Meets Pretty Parisienne: A Look at Altuzarra’s New Beauty Rules," 2 Mar. 2019 And in Paris for Couture, Kaia Gerber's porcelain skin glimmered beneath a pearl headpiece, and the backstage lights at Givenchy. Akili King, Vogue, "The Best Beauty Instagrams of the Week: Ashley Graham, Imaan Hammam, and More," 27 Jan. 2019 His mane, wet, is the color of dark wood, glimmering with beams of honey, and falls just past where his barn door shoulders stop flexing. Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "Aquaman goes for broke and lands somewhere between overstuffed marine opera and cheesy comic book fun," 11 Dec. 2018 Blending a classic pinecone shape with the geometric elements of a geodesic dome, the result is a 5.5-ton steel and California Redwood house that glimmers both inside and out. Megan Barber, Curbed, "You can buy this tiny treehouse shaped like a pinecone," 11 Dec. 2018 Natural hair styles like locs, cornrows, and afros were proudly displayed above the crowds; ruffled pant suits, wide cut motorcycle pants, and flower crowns stretched across the lawns; blue, glitter, and dark shadows glimmered across the eyelids. Elijah Craig Ii, Teen Vogue, "25 Natural Hairstyles from Afropunk 2018 to Try Now," 28 Aug. 2018 My silver pen knife, now discarded on the floor, glimmered in the soft yellow glow from an old Edinburgh streetlight shining in from outside the window. Shirley Manson, New York Times, "Shirley Manson: The First Time I Cut Myself," 3 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

That moment, that small glimmer of acceptance, even just for a second, seems to make the whole tour worthwhile. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Gay Chorus Deep South," 1 May 2019 Fans had a glimmer of hope that this signaled Time Bandit's triumphant return to Deadliest Catch season 15, but any plans were foiled by an unexpected malfunction last year—the boat's engine exploded. Blair Donovan, Country Living, "This Is Why 'Deadliest Catch' Won't Feature the Time Bandit Anymore," 28 Apr. 2019 The functions in these new moonshines have their origins in a prescient letter by one of mathematics’ great geniuses, written more than half a century before moonshine was even a glimmer in the minds of mathematicians. Quanta Magazine, "Mathematicians Chase Moonshine’s Shadow," 12 Mar. 2015 Crazy Rich Asians is yet another glimmer of hope that the rom-com is on the up-and-up. Kathryn Lindsay,, "The Rom-Com Renaissance Is Here Thanks To Netflix," 22 June 2018 Fortunately, Hallmark and producer Brian Bird are giving us a glimmer of hope. Megan Stein, Country Living, "'When Calls the Heart' Is Returning Tomorrow with a Cryptic 3-Minute Clip," 9 Apr. 2019 By doing so, Sissi has extinguished the last glimmers of the democratic hope unleashed by mass protests in 2011. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, "Egypt’s farcical election and the long Arab winter," 28 Mar. 2018 However, there is still a glimmer of hope for Argentina, which can still sneak out of Group D despite grabbing just a single point from two games. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "How Lionel Messi and Argentina can still advance in the World Cup," 22 June 2018 There was at least a glimmer of hope in the ash in a video released Monday by Guatemala's National Civil Police. Madison Park, Holly Yan And Flora Charner, CNN, "Entire families buried as Guatemalans battle to recover the dead after volcano eruption," 5 June 2018

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.

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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

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Learn More about glimmer

Dictionary Entries near glimmer





glimmer gowk

glimmer ice


Statistics for glimmer

Last Updated

10 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for glimmer

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

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on glimmer

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with glimmer

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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).


something desired as essential

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