a very harsh, bright, dazzling light: in the glare of sunlight.
a fiercely or angrily piercing stare.
dazzling or showy appearance; showiness.

verb (used without object), glared, glar·ing.

verb (used with object), glared, glar·ing.

to express with a glare: They glared their anger at each other.

Origin of glare

1250–1300; (v.) Middle English glaren; cognate with Middle Dutch, Middle Low German glaren; akin to glass (compare Old English glæren glassy); (noun) Middle English, derivative of the v.
Related formsglare·less, adjective

Synonyms for glare

1. flare, glitter, flash. 4. See shine1. 5. Glare, glower, gloat all have connotations of emotion that accompany an intense gaze. To glare is to look piercingly or angrily: A tiger glares at its prey. To glower is to look fiercely and threateningly, as from wrath; it suggests a scowl along with a glare: to glower at a mischievous child. To gloat meant originally to look with exultation, avaricious or malignant, on something or someone: a tyrant gloating over the helplessness of his victim. Today, however, it may simply imply inner exultation.




a bright, smooth surface, as of ice.

Origin of glare

First recorded in 1560–70; special use of glare1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for glare

Contemporary Examples of glare

Historical Examples of glare

  • Then he ventured into the heat and glare of Broadway where humanity stewed and wilted.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • He bent his head forward challengingly, to meet the glare of his accuser's eyes.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • Carlotta's eyes were blinded for a moment by the glare of the house lights.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • They would have stiffened in astonishment could they have translated the "glare."

  • The first look that they gave at the upper world was a glare of wrath and defiance.

    Tanglewood Tales

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

British Dictionary definitions for glare




(intr) to stare angrily; glower
(tr) to express by glowering
(intr) (of light, colour, etc) to be very bright and intense
(intr) to be dazzlingly ornamented or garish


an angry stare
a dazzling light or brilliance
garish ornamentation or appearance; gaudiness
Derived Formsglareless, adjectiveglary, adjective

Word Origin for glare

C13: probably from Middle Low German, Middle Dutch glaren to gleam; probably related to Old English glæren glassy; see glass




mainly US and Canadian smooth and glassyglare ice

Word Origin for glare

C16: special use of glare 1
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

Word Origin and History for glare

late 13c., "shine brightly," from or related to Middle Dutch, Middle Low German glaren "to gleam," related by rhoticization to glas (see glass). Sense of "stare fiercely" is from late 14c. The noun is c.1400 in sense "bright light;" 1660s in sense of "fierce look." Old English glær (n.) meant "amber." Related: Glared; glaring.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper