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[shim-er] /ˈʃɪm ər/
verb (used without object)
to shine with or reflect a subdued, tremulous light; gleam faintly.
to appear to quiver or vibrate in faint light or while reflecting heat waves.
a subdued, tremulous light or gleam.
a quivering or vibrating motion or image as produced by reflecting faint light or heat waves.
Origin of shimmer
before 1100; Middle English schimeren, s(c)hemeren, Old English scimrian; cognate with Dutch schemeren, German schimmern to glisten
Related forms
shimmeringly, adverb
unshimmering, adjective
unshimmeringly, adverb
1. glimmer. See glisten. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for shimmered
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Finally, one rosy dawn, he came upon the lake as it sparkled and shimmered in the early light.

  • Shadows, formed by the water on the pane, shimmered on Fernando's face.

    When the Owl Cries Paul Bartlett
  • An aura seemed to transpire mistily from his pores to meet the aureole that shimmered about her.

    What Will People Say? Rupert Hughes
  • Then the sharp lines of the throne blurred; it shimmered in the light.

  • She stood out against the dark-paneled walls, for her pale green dress caught the light and shimmered.

    Johnstone of the Border Harold Bindloss
  • He looked at the gauge that shimmered redly before him, disbelieving.

    Sound of Terror Don Berry
  • Great grains of light, large as peas, shimmered and glittered with an unearthly brilliancy.

British Dictionary definitions for shimmered


(intransitive) to shine with a glistening or tremulous light
a faint, glistening, or tremulous light
Derived Forms
shimmering, adjective
shimmeringly, adverb
Word Origin
Old English scimerian; related to Middle Low German schēmeren to grow dark, Old Norse skimi brightness
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 shimmered



Old English scimerian "to glitter, shimmer, glisten, shine," related to (perhaps a frequentative of) scimian "to shine," from Proto-Germanic *skim- (cf. Swedish skimra, Dutch schemeren "to glitter," German schimmern), from PIE root *skai- "to gleam, to shine" (see shine (v.). Related: Shimmered; shimmering.


"a tremulous light," 1821, from shimmer (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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