- a flash or beam of light: the gleam of a lantern in the dark.
- a dim or subdued light.
- a brief or slight manifestation or occurrence; trace: a gleam of hope.
- to send forth a gleam or gleams.
- to appear suddenly and clearly like a flash of light.
Origin of gleam
SynonymsSee more synonyms for gleam on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for gleam
Polish them until they gleam with malice, wicked glee, and non-registry gifts.The First-World Anarchist’s Guide to Weddings
Kelly Williams Brown
May 31, 2014
The gleam of hope in this darkness is the number of men who came out to protest and who shielded women from baton blows.India’s Fatal Rape Was Typical in a Country That Degrades Women
January 2, 2013
When Clay held the world title aloft, Lipsyte saw in the gleam of the belt sports and '60s social upheaval and his own careerism.On the Peninsula
April 25, 2011
Nor will there be a sequel—a courtesy extended every Pixar movie except Toy Story, thus lending each a gleam of singularity.The Company That Cracked Hollywood
May 26, 2009
Then she fluttered a glance at him in which there was a gleam of mockery.
She was smiling now, and he caught a gleam of mischief in her eyes.
No, her head was fallen, and he saw the gleam of her hand at her breast.Way of the Lawless
She opened her eyes with a gleam of eagerness to hear the words.Ester Ried Yet Speaking
How black is the great tower, and how bright the gleam of arms upon the wall!The White Company
Arthur Conan Doyle
- a small beam or glow of light, esp reflected light
- a brief or dim indicationa gleam of hope
- to send forth or reflect a beam of light
- to appear, esp brieflyintelligence gleamed in his eyes
Word Origin and History for gleam
Old English glæm "brilliant light; brightness, splendor, radiance," from Proto-Germanic *glaimiz (cf. Old Saxon glimo "brightness;" Middle High German glim "spark," gleime "glowworm;" German glimmen "to glimmer, glow;" Old Norse glija "to shine, glitter"), from root *glim-, from PIE *ghel- "to shine, glitter, glow" (see glass).
early 13c., from gleam (n). Related: Gleamed; gleaming.