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glit·​ter ˈgli-tər How to pronounce glitter (audio)
glittered; glittering; glitters

intransitive verb

: to shine by reflection with many small flashes of brilliant light : sparkle
sequins glittered in the spotlight
: to shine with strong emotion : flash
eyes glittering in anger
: to be brilliantly attractive, lavish, or spectacular
also : to be superficially attractive or exciting


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: sparkling brilliance of something that glitters
: a bright usually superficial attractiveness
: the quality of being spectacular
: small glittering objects used for ornamentation
glittery adjective
Choose the Right Synonym for glitter

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 glitter in a Sentence

Verb The sequins on her dress glittered in the sun. Her eyes glittered with intelligence and amusement. Noun He was drawn to the glitter of the city's nightlife.
Recent Examples on the Web
While Thanksgiving festivities and glittering shopping adventures were taking place stateside, over the weekend in Paris, Le Bal des Débutantes, one of Europe’s most opulent debutante balls, took place inside the Shangri La Hotel. Kristen Bateman, Vogue, 27 Nov. 2023 Dressed in a glittering silver Versace gown and matching gloves, Beyoncé debuted butt-length, pin-straight platinum blonde hair. Emily Tannenbaum, Glamour, 26 Nov. 2023 Former bandmate Williams embarked on a glittering solo career a quarter century ago, and is currently on tour in Australia. Lars Brandle, Billboard, 24 Nov. 2023 Later, royal watchers will be treated to a glittering array of jewels and tiaras on show at the state banquet staged in the ballroom at Buckingham Palace. Simon Perry, Peoplemag, 21 Nov. 2023 The full-length ballet is presented with Victorian-era sets, glittering costumes and choreography by Elizabeth Wistrich. Marcia Luttrell, San Diego Union-Tribune, 19 Nov. 2023 Beyond was the Sea of Najaf, a brackish lake, glittering feverishly in the distance. Aatish Taseer, New York Times, 9 Nov. 2023 Once past the border and through the traffic of Tijuana, the road opens into a postcard of a drive, best taken windows down for a salted breeze and unobstructed views of the Pacific glittering to your right. Rebekah Peppler, Condé Nast Traveler, 6 Nov. 2023 The French tableware house has a remarkable history: Its glittering silverware accompanied the lavish buffets of Emperor Napoleon and sat in the cutlery drawers of the late fashion legend Karl Lagerfeld. Joshua Glass, Vogue, 15 Nov. 2023
Play with pops of glitter or pretty placement of gemstones for more of a modern, textural take on something traditional. Georgia Day, Vogue, 25 Nov. 2023 But not all glitters are as good as gone in Europe. Joshua Rapp Learn, Discover Magazine, 22 Nov. 2023 Spray it on or use crafts glue to lightly dot the Q-tips and shake the glitter on your six-pointed creations. Sharon Greenthal, Better Homes & Gardens, 17 Nov. 2023 On the other hand, bronzers with a radiant finish such as the Sisley Paris Phyto-Blush Twist usually include micro glitters and purposefully reflect light off of your skin to enhance your natural luminosity. Alyssa Brascia, Peoplemag, 12 Nov. 2023 On one side, her face looks natural with orange and purple glitter over her eyelids. Chantal Flores, Los Angeles Times, 6 Nov. 2023 However, many brands have already found ways to reduce or eliminate the use of traditional plastic glitter in both European and American formulations. Kayla Greaves, Vogue, 8 Nov. 2023 In the photo, the mom of four glitters in a nude square-neck bodysuit paired with a body chain, a large silver choker and matching silver bracelet cuffs. Kirsty Hatcher, Peoplemag, 8 Nov. 2023 The mirrored vanity storage case holds 75 pieces of nail art, body glitter, eye shadows, brushes, lip glosses, glitter gloss, and more. Maya Polton, Parents, 7 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'glitter.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



Middle English gliteren, perhaps from Old Norse glitra; akin to Old English geolu yellow

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1593, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of glitter was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near glitter

Cite this Entry

“Glitter.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 verb
glit·​ter ˈglit-ər How to pronounce glitter (audio)
: to shine with brilliant or metallic luster
glittering sequins
: to shine with strong emotion
eyes glittered cruelly


2 of 2 noun
: sparkling brilliancy
: small glittering objects used for ornamentation
glittery adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on glitter

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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