glisten

verb
glis·​ten | \ ˈgli-sᵊn \
glistened; glistening\ ˈgli-​sᵊn-​iŋ \

Definition of glisten

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to give off a sparkling or lustrous reflection of or as if of a moist or polished surface

glisten

noun

Definition of glisten (Entry 2 of 2)

Keep scrolling for more

Choose the Right Synonym for glisten

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

Examples of glisten in a Sentence

Verb

Rain made the streets glisten. The streets glistened in the rain. Her eyes glistened with tears. a long beach of glistening sand
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Below, 8 glistening touches for a radiant finish this New Year's Eve—and a bright note in the year ahead. Zoe Ruffner, Vogue, "8 Gold Beauty Products for Your Brightest New Year’s Eve Yet," 31 Dec. 2018 If Battlefield V is a glistening statue, Post Scriptum is a pile of rocks. T.c. Sottek, The Verge, "Battlefield V’s single-player stories are the right way to do war games," 20 Nov. 2018 Organic shapes — sometimes resembling glistening fish scales, underground crystals or regal jewels — were the leitmotif on models that looked as if they had been mined from the earth. Thomas Adamson, The Seattle Times, "Starry Saint Laurent show in Paris sees models walk on water," 25 Sep. 2018 On an overcast day at Ellington Airport outside of Houston, a glistening metallic NASA Super Guppy opened up to reveal relics of the past freshly restored for the future. Matt Blitz, Popular Mechanics, "Houston, We Have a Resurrection: How Mission Control Came Back from the Brink," 27 Nov. 2018 Behind the cozy cabins is a hanging curtain of glistening wooden snowflakes. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "Watch Magnolia Market Transform For The Holidays," 15 Nov. 2018 Male passenger pigeons were particularly colorful, with red breasts, feet and legs and iridescent pink patches that glistened on the sides of their throats. Amy Dockser Marcus, WSJ, "Meet the Scientists Bringing Extinct Species Back From the Dead," 9 Oct. 2018 Otter Tooth After losing her way in the woods while searching for a mule during a storm, Claire discovers a skull next to a glistening gemstone. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "How Many Time Travelers Do We Know About in Outlander So Far?," 19 Nov. 2018 The home serves as a bright, blank canvas for layers of artwork collected over the years, as well as a calming place where the air gently wafts in and out, and sandstone tile cascades gently down to a patio and glistening pool. Samantha Weiss Hills, Curbed, "11 sparkling pools you’ll want to dive into," 13 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The sugars will caramelize until the ribs are dark brown, and the salty-spicy-sweet glaze will make the whole thing glisten. Alyse Whitney, Bon Appetit, "You’d Never Know These BBQ Ribs Were Cooked in the Instant Pot," 20 June 2018 Pale pink scrims of raw Hamachi ($16) glisten with bright plum sauce and pop with the sharp tang of pickled onion. Michael Nagrant, RedEye Chicago, "At BLVD, you'll find approachable fine dining in a glamorous setting," 6 Oct. 2017 Picture a large Atlantic codfish: Her scales glisten and her chin whiskers are long. Ben Guarino, Anchorage Daily News, "We’re fishing exactly the wrong fish, scientists warn," 10 May 2018 Built in the 1930s, the crisp 165-foot boat glistens in bright white and shiny wood. Beth Spotswood, San Francisco Chronicle, "A cruise back in time on the ‘Floating White House’," 25 Apr. 2018 The Stila and Onomie have formulas on the moister side, which covers your highlighter base with a healthy-looking glisten. Rachel Nussbaum, Glamour, "Call Me Crazy, But I Can't Stop Wearing Brown Blush," 23 Apr. 2018 Gold accents, such as a gold soap dish, glisten throughout the bathroom. Jason Wilson, chicagotribune.com, "What I learned about America's future from visiting Trump resorts around the world," 14 Mar. 2018 But, as its title implies, much of Man of the Woods also comes with the moonshine-and-mason-jar glisten of country, blues and folk. Nina Braca, Billboard, "Justin Timberlake's 'Man of the Woods': What Critics Are Saying," 2 Feb. 2018 Saffitz wanted the same glisten that Tartine's had under the light, upped the cardamom as a nod to Scandinavian tradition, and emulated the plethora of spots adding whole wheat into their flour mix. Claire Saffitz, Bon Appetit, "We Want to Eat These Morning Buns for the Rest of Our Lives," 30 Apr. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'glisten.' 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 glisten

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun

1840, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for glisten

Verb and Noun

Middle English glistnen, from Old English glisnian; akin to Old English glisian to glitter, geolu yellow — more at yellow

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about glisten

Statistics for glisten

Last Updated

21 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for glisten

The first known use of glisten was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for glisten

glisten

verb

English Language Learners Definition of glisten

: to shine with light reflected off a wet surface

glisten

verb
glis·​ten | \ ˈgli-sᵊn \
glistened; glistening

Kids Definition of glisten

: to shine with a soft reflected light

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on glisten

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with glisten

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for glisten

Spanish Central: Translation of glisten

Nglish: Translation of glisten for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of glisten for Arabic Speakers

Comments on glisten

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

WORD OF THE DAY

important, real, or meaningful

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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