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2017 Word of the Year

gloss2

[glos, glaws] /glɒs, glɔs/
noun
1.
an explanation or translation, by means of a marginal or interlinear note, of a technical or unusual expression in a manuscript text.
2.
a series of verbal interpretations of a text.
3.
a glossary.
4.
an artfully misleading interpretation.
verb (used with object)
5.
to insert glosses on; annotate.
6.
to place (a word) in a gloss.
7.
to give a specious interpretation of; explain away (often followed by over or away):
to gloss over a serious problem with a pat solution.
verb (used without object)
8.
to make glosses.
Origin of gloss2
1250-1300
1250-1300; (noun) Middle English glose (< Old French glose) < Medieval Latin glōsa, glōza < Greek glôssa word requiring explanation, literally, language, tongue; (v.) Middle English glosen < Medieval Latin glōssāre, derivative of glōsa; cf. gloze, reflecting the Old French pronunciation of verb
Related forms
glossingly, adverb
Synonyms
1. comment, annotation. 2. commentary, critique, exegesis, explication. 5. explain, interpret, analyze, explicate.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for gloss over
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They draw this distinction when it is too late, and use it as a quibble to gloss over their fault.

    The Eternal City Hall Caine
  • Nor did he try to gloss over or strive to nullify his own dishonorable actions.

    Garrison's Finish W. B. M. Ferguson
  • What could gloss over the base return he made them for all their hospitalities and attention?

    Jack Hinton Charles James Lever
  • If it only gloss over the working of human sympathy, we pity the men.

    The Fortunes Of Glencore Charles James Lever
  • We may gloss over the impropriety of the proceedings which led to this phenomenon.

British Dictionary definitions for gloss over

gloss over

verb (transitive, adverb)
1.
to hide under a deceptively attractive surface or appearance
2.
to deal with (unpleasant facts) rapidly and cursorily, or to omit them altogether from an account of something

gloss1

/ɡlɒs/
noun
1.
  1. lustre or sheen, as of a smooth surface
  2. (as modifier): gloss paint
2.
a superficially attractive appearance
3.
4.
a cosmetic preparation applied to the skin to give it a faint sheen: lip gloss
verb
5.
to give a gloss to or obtain a gloss
See also gloss over
Derived Forms
glosser, noun
glossless, adjective
Word Origin
C16: probably of Scandinavian origin; compare Icelandic glossi flame, Middle High German glosen to glow

gloss2

/ɡlɒs/
noun
1.
a short or expanded explanation or interpretation of a word, expression, or foreign phrase in the margin or text of a manuscript, etc
2.
an intentionally misleading explanation or interpretation
3.
short for glossary
verb (transitive)
4.
to add glosses to
Derived Forms
glosser, noun
glossingly, adverb
Word Origin
C16: from Latin glōssa unusual word requiring explanatory note, from Ionic Greek
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for gloss over

gloss

v.

1570s as "insert a word as an explanation," from gloss (n.2). From 1650s as "to add luster," from gloss (n.1). Figurative sense of "smooth over, hide" is from 1729, mostly from gloss (n.1) but showing influence of gloss (n.2) in the extended verbal sense of "explain away" (1630s), from idea of a note inserted in the margin of a text to explain a difficult word. Related: Glossed; glossing.

gloss

n.1

"luster," 1530s, from Scandinavian (cf. Icelandic glossi "flame," related to glossa "to flame"), or obsolete Dutch gloos "a glowing," from Middle High German glos; probably ultimately from the same source as Old English glowan (see glow (v.)).

gloss

n.2

"word inserted as an explanation," 1540s (earlier gloze, c.1300), from Latin glossa "obsolete or foreign word," one that requires explanation; hence also "explanation, note," from Greek glossa (Ionic), glotta (Attic) "obscure word, language," also "mouthpiece," literally "tongue," from PIE *glogh- "thorn, point, that which is projected" (cf. Old Church Slavonic glogu "thorn"). Figurative use from 1540s. Both glossology (1716) and glottology (1841) have been used in the sense "science of language."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with gloss over

gloss over

Make attractive or acceptable by deception or superficial treatment. For example, His resumé glossed over his lack of experience, or She tried to gloss over the mistake by insisting it would make no difference. [ Mid-1600s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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