[glaw-kuh s]


light bluish-green or greenish-blue.
Botany. covered with a whitish bloom, as a plum.

Origin of glaucous

1665–75; < Latin glaucus silvery, gray, bluish-green < Greek glaukós. See glauco-, -ous
Related formsglau·cous·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for glaucous

Historical Examples of glaucous

  • It was a glaucous, intertwining, delicious flux and contest in flux.

    The Rainbow

    D. H. (David Herbert) Lawrence

  • It has glaucous leaves, and the fruit-pods are quadrangular in form.

    The Sea Shore

    William S. Furneaux

  • It is an acrid, glaucous, leafy and prickly plant, with a milky juice.

    Field and Woodland Plants

    William S. Furneaux

  • Perennial, and extensively stoloniferous; bright or glaucous green.


    H. Marshall Ward

  • Its body is formed of a dozen segments, covered with a glaucous dust.

    The Insect World

    Louis Figuier

British Dictionary definitions for glaucous



botany covered with a bluish waxy or powdery bloom
Derived Formsglaucously, adverb

Word Origin for glaucous

C17: from Latin glaucus silvery, bluish-green, from Greek glaukos
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 glaucous

"bluish-green, gray," 1670s, from Latin glaucus "bluish-green," of uncertain origin; used in Homer of the sea as "gleaming, silvery" (apparently without a color connotation); used by later writers with a sense of "bluish-green, gray," of olive leaves and eyes. Homer's glauk-opis Athene probably originally was a "bright-eyed," not a "gray-eyed" goddess. Greek for "owl" was glaux from its bright, staring eyes.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper