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[shahy-ning] /ˈʃaɪ nɪŋ/
radiant; gleaming; bright.
resplendent; brilliant:
shining talents.
conspicuously fine:
a shining example.
Origin of shining
before 900; Middle English s(c)hininge, schininde, Old English scinende; see shine1, -ing2
Related forms
shiningly, adverb
self-shining, adjective
unshining, adjective
1. glistening, effulgent. 2. lustrous. 3. outstanding, distinguished, eminent, prime, splendid.
Synonym Study
1. See bright.


[shahyn] /ʃaɪn/
verb (used without object), shone or shined, shining.
to give forth or glow with light; shed or cast light.
to be bright with reflected light; glisten; sparkle.
(of light) to appear brightly or strongly, especially uncomfortably so:
Wear dark glasses so the sun won't shine in your eyes.
to be or appear unusually animated or bright, as the eyes or face.
to appear with brightness or clearness, as feelings.
to excel or be conspicuous:
to shine in school.
verb (used with object), shone or shined, shining.
to cause to shine.
to direct the light of (a lamp, mirror, etc.):
Shine the flashlight on the steps so I can see.
to put a gloss or polish on; polish (as shoes, silverware, etc.).
radiance or brightness caused by emitted or reflected light.
luster; polish.
sunshine; fair weather.
a polish or gloss given to shoes.
an act or instance of polishing shoes.
Informal. a foolish prank; caper.
Slang: Extremely Disparaging and Offensive. a contemptuous term used to refer to a black person.
Verb phrases, past and past participle shone or shined; present participle shining.
shine up to, Informal.
  1. to attempt to impress (a person), especially in order to gain benefits for oneself.
  2. to become especially attentive to (one of the opposite sex):
    Men shine up to her like moths to a light.
come rain or shine,
  1. regardless of the weather.
  2. no matter what the circumstances may be:
    Come rain or shine, he is always on the job.
Also, rain or shine.
take a shine to, Informal. to take a liking or fancy to:
That little girl has really taken a shine to you.
before 900; Middle English s(c)hinen (v.), Old English scīnan; cognate with Dutch schijnen, German scheinen, Old Norse skīna, Gothic skeinan
Related forms
unshined, adjective
1. glimmer, shimmer. Shine, beam, glare refer to the emitting or reflecting of light. Shine refers to a steady glowing or reflecting of light: to shine in the sun. That which beams gives forth a radiant or bright light: to beam like a star. Glare refers to the shining of a light that is not only bright but so strong as to be unpleasant and dazzling: to glare like a headlight. 9. buff, burnish, brighten. 11. gloss, gleam, glow, sheen. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for shining
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • See how their shining hair sparkles on the surface of the waters!

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • In from the shining sea late that afternoon steamed the Viluca.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • "I'll prove to you that I am worthy of your trust," she said with shining eyes.

  • The morning sun had always called him to a new day, and the sun was shining.

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • He held my hands when we parted and looked into my eyes, and I saw that his own were shining.

    The Bacillus of Beauty Harriet Stark
British Dictionary definitions for shining


verb shines, shining, shone
(intransitive) to emit light
(intransitive) to glow or be bright with reflected light
(transitive) to direct the light of (a lamp, etc): he shone the torch in my eyes
(tr; past tense and past participle shined) to cause to gleam by polishing: to shine shoes
(intransitive) to be conspicuously competent; excel: she shines at tennis
(intransitive) to appear clearly; be conspicuous: the truth shone out of his words
the state or quality of shining; sheen; lustre
rain or shine, come rain or shine
  1. whatever the weather
  2. regardless of circumstances
(informal) short for moonshine (sense 2)
(informal) a liking or fancy (esp in the phrase take a shine to)
Word Origin
Old English scīnan; related to Old Norse skīna, Gothic skeinan, Old High German scīnan to shine, Greek skia shadow
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 shining



Old English scinan "shed light, be radiant, be resplendent, iluminate," of persons, "be conspicuous" (class I strong verb; past tense scan, past participle scinen), from Proto-Germanic *skinan (cf. Old Saxon and Old High German skinan, Old Norse and Old Frisian skina, Dutch schijnen, German scheinen, Gothic skeinan "to shine, appear"), from PIE root *skai- (2) "to gleam, shine, flicker" (cf. Sanskrit chaya "brilliance, luster; shadow," Greek skia "shade," Old Church Slavonic sinati "to flash up, shine," Albanian he "shadow"). Transitive meaning "to black (boots)" is from 1610s. Related: Shined (in the shoe polish sense), otherwise shone; shining.



1520s, "brightness," from shine (v.). Meaning "polish given to a pair of boots" is from 1871. Derogatory meaning "black person" is from 1908. Phrase to take a shine to "fancy" is American English slang from 1839, perhaps from shine up to "attempt to please as a suitor." Shiner is from late 14c. as "something that shines;" sense of "black eye" first recorded 1904.

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



: another shine killing


  1. A black person (1908+)
  2. Bootleg whiskey; moonshine: non-blinding shine sold in fruit jars (1929+)


To reject; disregard; avoid; skip: But I always end up shining the rad guys who like me (1970s+ Teenagers)

Related Terms

monkeyshines, stick it, take a shine to someone or something, where the sun doesn't shine

[the racial sense may have originated among blacks, may refer to the glossiness of a very black skin, and hence may reflect the caste system based upon color; among white speakers, this sense was surely influenced by the fact that most shoeshine persons were black; the teenager sense has a black parallel, shine on, and the origin may be the poetic notion that when one turns one's back on something, one is letting his ''moon (that is, buttocks) shine on'' it]

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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Idioms and Phrases with shining


In addition to the idiom beginning with
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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