an upper limit to professional advancement, especially as imposed upon women, minorities, and other nondominant groups, that is not readily perceived or openly acknowledged: It’s more difficult for women of color to break through the glass ceiling.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use glass ceiling in a sentence
Democratic women don’t hold a monopoly on breaking glass ceilings.Republican Rep. Nancy Mace on the Capitol insurrection: ‘We need to rebuild our party’ | KK Ottesen | February 9, 2021 | Washington Post
We all know about that figurative glass ceiling composed of laws and traditions holding women down.Women Have Lost a Disproportionate Number of Jobs Due to COVID-19. Here's How We Can Start to Fix a Broken System | Bonnie Hammer | January 25, 2021 | Time
I’m sure you know the concept of the glass ceiling, which describes how women have a hard time rising to the top of organizations.Is it Too Late for General Motors to Go Electric? (Ep. 442) | Stephen J. Dubner | December 3, 2020 | Freakonomics
A program like this in SEO could be the game changer that bridges the gap and helps more women gain the needed visibility and shatter glass ceilings only touched by male SEOs.
Barring something unforeseeable, Wall Street banks’ long-standing glass ceiling is history.How Jane Fraser broke banking’s highest glass ceiling | Claire Zillman, reporter | October 19, 2020 | Fortune
What kind of advice would you give to young women to overcome that glass ceiling?
Many, especially those who come from an economically disadvantaged background, still face a glass ceiling.
Women come closer to breaking through the glass ceiling every day.
Joan hit the glass ceiling hard this past season and Hendricks did a great job conveying her torment and anguish.Emmys 2013: What Show Should Win It All? Our Critics Debate | Kevin Fallon, Marlow Stern | September 21, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
And you will hear that your vote will be used as a “hammer to break through the glass ceiling of the Oval Office.”
Palms of all kinds filled it, whose trunks and tops often reached close up to the glass ceiling.Royal Highness | Thomas Mann
Through the door you enter the garden, with its tiled floor, its glass ceiling, and its low brick retaining walls.The House in Good Taste | Elsie de Wolfe
Evergreens are banked against the brick walls, and flat reliefs are hung just under the glass ceiling.The House in Good Taste | Elsie de Wolfe
A ground glass ceiling diffused a gay rosy light over the marble floor.Atlantida | Pierre Benoit
Suddenly, from the painted glass ceiling above, a mellow light has streamed p. 14down upon us all.Here and There in London | J. Ewing Ritchie
British Dictionary definitions for glass ceiling
a situation in which progress, esp promotion, appears to be possible but restrictions or discrimination create a barrier that prevents it
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
Cultural definitions for glass ceiling
An unacknowledged — and ultimately illegal — barrier to advancement, especially for women and people of color: “In many professions a woman cannot break through the glass ceiling to the upper level of management.” The term dates from the 1980s.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Other Idioms and Phrases with glass ceiling
An unacknowledged discriminatory barrier to advancement, especially for women and minorities. For example, Harriet knew she'd never be promoted—she would never get through the glass ceiling. [1980s]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.