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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 glossy
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She had a ribbon in her long, glossy hair, and her face shone pleasantly with soap.

    In the Valley Harold Frederic
  • She had exquisite teeth, and her head was covered with thick, glossy hair.

    My Double Life Sarah Bernhardt
  • Grip soon recovered his looks, and became as glossy and sleek as ever.

    Barnaby Rudge Charles Dickens
  • The American slapped his glossy boot with his whip, lowered his voice, and said, "There!"

    The Eternal City Hall Caine
  • The Marquise spoke to him kindly, and she stooped to pat the dog's glossy head.

    St. Martin's Summer Rafael Sabatini
British Dictionary definitions for glossy


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 glossy

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 glossy



  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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