Thesaurus

glisten

verb

Synonyms of glisten

(Entry 1 of 2)

to shoot forth bursts of light
  • this seemingly dull opal really glistens in full light

Synonyms for glisten

Words Related to glisten

glisten

noun

Synonyms & Antonyms of glisten (Entry 2 of 2)

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About glisten

How does the verb glisten contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of glisten are flash, gleam, glimmer, glint, glitter, shimmer, and sparkle. While all these words mean "to send forth light," glisten applies to the soft sparkle from a wet or oily surface.

glistening wet sidewalk

When would flash be a good substitute for glisten?

The words flash and glisten can be used in similar contexts, but flash implies a sudden outburst of bright light.

lightning flashed

When could gleam be used to replace glisten?

Although the words gleam and glisten have much in common, gleam suggests a steady light seen through an obscuring medium or against a dark background.

lights gleamed in the valley

Where would glimmer be a reasonable alternative to glisten?

The words glimmer and glisten are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, glimmer suggests a faint or wavering gleam.

a distant glimmering light

When might glint be a better fit than glisten?

While in some cases nearly identical to glisten, glint implies a cold glancing light.

glinting steel

When is it sensible to use glitter instead of glisten?

The meanings of glitter and glisten largely overlap; however, glitter connotes a brilliant sparkling or gleaming.

glittering diamonds

When can shimmer be used instead of glisten?

While the synonyms shimmer and glisten are close in meaning, shimmer means shining with a wavering light.

a shimmering satin dress

In what contexts can sparkle take the place of glisten?

The synonyms sparkle and glisten are sometimes interchangeable, but sparkle suggests innumerable moving points of bright light.

the sparkling waters

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about glisten

Time Traveler for glisten

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Cite this Entry

“Glisten.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/glisten. Accessed 24 Oct. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on glisten

Dictionary: Definition 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

Test Your Vocabulary

Namesakes Word Quiz

  • a citrus fruit possibly named after a person
  • Which of the following is a fruit named after a Moroccan seaport?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

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!