[ glans, glahns ]
See synonyms for: glanceglancedglancing on

verb (used without object),glanced, glanc·ing.
  1. to look quickly or briefly.

  2. to gleam or flash: a silver brooch glancing in the sunlight.

  1. to strike a surface or object obliquely, especially so as to bounce off at an angle (often followed by off): The arrow glanced off his shield.

  2. to allude briefly to a topic or subject in passing (usually followed by at).

verb (used with object),glanced, glanc·ing.Archaic.
  1. to cast a glance or brief look at; catch a glimpse of.

  2. to cast or reflect, as a gleam.

  1. to throw, hit, kick, shoot, etc. (something) so that it glances off a surface or object.

  1. a quick or brief look.

  2. a gleam or flash of light, especially reflected light.

  1. a deflected movement or course; an oblique rebound.

  2. Digital Technology. information on an electronic screen that can be understood quickly or at a glance: Get news and weather glances on your phone.Tap anywhere on a glance to open the app.

  3. Cricket. a stroke in which the batsman deflects the ball with the bat, as to leg.

  4. Archaic. a passing reference or allusion; insinuation.

Origin of glance

First recorded in 1400–50; late Middle English verb glenchen, glansen, variant (perhaps influenced by obsolete glent “to shine”) of Middle English glacen “to strike a glancing blow,” from Old French glacier “to slip, slide,” from Latin glaciāre “to freeze”; see glacé, glint

synonym study For glance

2. See flash.

Other words for glance

Words that may be confused with glance

Words Nearby glance

Other definitions for glance (2 of 2)

[ glans, glahns ]

  1. any of various minerals having a luster that indicates a metallic nature.

Origin of glance

First recorded in 1795–1805; from German Glanz “brightness, luster” Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use glance in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for glance (1 of 2)


/ (ɡlɑːns) /

  1. (intr) to look hastily or briefly

  2. (intr; foll by over, through, etc) to look over briefly: to glance through a report

  1. (intr) to reflect, glint, or gleam: the sun glanced on the water

  2. (intr usually foll by off) to depart (from an object struck) at an oblique angle: the arrow glanced off the tree

  3. (tr) to strike at an oblique angle: the arrow glanced the tree

  1. a hasty or brief look; peep

  2. at a glance from one's first look; immediately

  1. a flash or glint of light; gleam

  2. the act or an instance of an object glancing or glancing off another

  3. a brief allusion or reference

  4. cricket a stroke in which the ball is deflected off the bat to the leg side; glide

Origin of glance

C15: modification of glacen to strike obliquely, from Old French glacier to slide (see glacis); compare Middle English glenten to make a rapid sideways movement, glint

usage For glance

Glance is sometimes wrongly used where glimpse is meant: he caught a glimpse (not glance) of her making her way through the crowd

Derived forms of glance

  • glancing, adverb
  • glancingly, adverb

British Dictionary definitions for glance (2 of 2)


/ (ɡlɑːns) /

  1. any mineral having a metallic lustre, esp a simple sulphide: copper glance

Origin of glance

C19: from German Glanz brightness, lustre

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with glance


see at first blush (glance).

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.