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[glos-ee, glaw-see] /ˈglɒs i, ˈglɔ si/
adjective, glossier, glossiest.
having a shiny or lustrous surface.
having a false or deceptive appearance or air, especially of experience or sophistication; specious.
noun, plural glossies.
slick1 (def 9).
a photograph printed on glossy paper.
Origin of glossy
First recorded in 1550-60; gloss1 + -y1
Related forms
glossily, adverb
glossiness, noun
nonglossy, adjective
unglossy, adjective
1. shining, polished, glazed.
1. dull. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for glossiness
Historical Examples
  • The skin was clean and shone with the glossiness of much soap.

    Tess of the Storm Country

    Grace Miller White
  • Her hair had all the warmth and glossiness of that of a healthy girl of eighteen.

    Materialized Apparitions Edward Augustus Brackett
  • It not only serves to maintain flesh, but it is favorable to glossiness in the coat.

  • It is in the neatness of his 'shave' and the glossiness of his rich black cue that the Chinese dandy is distinguishable.

  • It is also conducive to glossiness of coat and healthiness of skin, but unless used sparingly affects the wind.

    Riding and Driving Edward L. Anderson
  • Their beautiful black hair owes its glossiness almost entirely to the use of candle tallow.

    Letters to an Unknown Prosper Mrime
  • Frequently there is slight edema of the ankles associated with a glossiness of the extensor surfaces of the legs.

    Scurvy Past and Present Alfred Fabian Hess
  • A few drops in the bath will remove all offensive perspiration and glossiness (if the skin is oily).

    Housekeeping in Old Virginia Marion Cabell Tyree
  • This does not injure the glossiness of the fur, which is apt to be affected when the skin is immersed.

  • The cut of his coat, the glossiness of his hat and boots, too, were all strikingly reminiscent of the dead man.

    The Avenger E. Phillips Oppenheim
British Dictionary definitions for glossiness


adjective glossier, glossiest
smooth and shiny; lustrous
superficially attractive; plausible
(of a magazine) lavishly produced on shiny paper and usually with many colour photographs
noun (pl) glossies
Also called (US) slick. an expensively produced magazine, typically a sophisticated fashion or glamour magazine, printed on shiny paper and containing high quality colour photography Compare pulp (sense 3)
a photograph printed on paper that has a smooth shiny surface
Derived Forms
glossily, adverb
glossiness, noun
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 glossiness



1550s, from gloss (n.1) + -y (2). Figurative use from 1690s. The noun sense of "photograph with a glossy surface" is from 1931. Related: Glossiness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for glossiness



  1. A magazine printed on shiny coated paper; a high-quality magazine; slick: female editors of the powerful ''glossies''/ start their own glossies in three very different cities (1940s+)
  2. A photograph printed on shiny paper (1920s+)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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