glisten 1 of 2

glisten

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noun

Synonym Chooser

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

Thesaurus Entries Near glisten

Cite this Entry

“Glisten.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/glisten. Accessed 5 Feb. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on glisten

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