[ gleem ]
/ glim /


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.

verb (used without object)

to send forth a gleam or gleams.
to appear suddenly and clearly like a flash of light.


Fend Off Sciolism With This Word Of The Day Quiz
Are you the Cinderella of this week’s quiz? Test your memory on the words and definitions from March 23–29.
Question 1 of 7

Origin of gleam

before 1000; (noun) Middle English glem(e), Old English glǣm; cognate with Old High German gleimo glowworm; akin to Old Saxon glīmo brightness; (v.) Middle English, derivative of the noun See glimmer, glimpse


1 Gleam, glimmer, beam, ray are terms for a stream of light. Gleam denotes a not very brilliant, intermittent or nondirectional stream of light. Glimmer indicates a nondirectional light that is feeble and unsteady: a faint glimmer of moonlight. Beam usually means a directional, and therefore smaller, stream: the beam from a searchlight. Ray usually implies a still smaller amount of light than a beam, a single line of light: a ray through a pinprick in a window shade.
4 shine, glimmer, flash, glitter, sparkle, beam.


gleam·ing·ly, adverbgleam·less, adjectiveout·gleam, verb (used with object)un·gleam·ing, adjective

Words nearby gleam Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for gleaming

British Dictionary definitions for gleaming

/ (ɡliːm) /


a small beam or glow of light, esp reflected light
a brief or dim indicationa gleam of hope

verb (intr)

to send forth or reflect a beam of light
to appear, esp brieflyintelligence gleamed in his eyes

Derived forms of gleam

gleaming, adjectivegleamy, adjectivegleamingly, adverb

Word Origin for gleam

Old English glǣm; related to Old Norse gljā to flicker, Old High German gleimo glow-worm, glīmo brightness, Old Irish glē bright
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