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See more synonyms for glimmer on Thesaurus.com
  1. a faint or unsteady light; gleam.
  2. a dim perception; inkling.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to shine faintly or unsteadily; twinkle, shimmer, or flicker.
  2. to appear faintly or dimly.
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Origin of glimmer

1300–50; Middle English glimeren to gleam; cognate with German glimmern; compare Old English gleomu splendor

Synonyms for glimmer

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1. See gleam.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for glimmer

hint, gleam, flicker, twinkle, inkling, glint, ray, glow, glisten, shimmer, trace, blink, coruscation, grain, suggestion, glance, scintillation, shine, flash, coruscate

Examples from the Web for glimmer

Contemporary Examples of glimmer

Historical Examples of glimmer

  • He looked from the window, and saw in the east the first glimmer of a lovely spring-day.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • But there he stopped, for he began to have a glimmer of where she was leading him.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • There was no light in the kitchen, and only a glimmer in the chamber above.

    Meadow Grass

    Alice Brown

  • As he had anticipated, the hunt had begun at the first glimmer of light.

  • Then he looked up at her with a glimmer of anxiety in his eyes.

    Alice Adams

    Booth Tarkington

British Dictionary definitions for glimmer


verb (intr)
  1. (of a light, candle, etc) to glow faintly or flickeringly
  2. to be indicated faintlyhope glimmered in his face
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  1. a glow or twinkle of light
  2. a faint indication
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Derived Formsglimmeringly, adverb

Word Origin for glimmer

C14: compare Middle High German glimmern, Swedish glimra, Danish glimre
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 glimmer


early 14c., "shine brightly," a frequentative from Proto-Germanic *glim-, root of Old English glæm "brightness" (see gleam (n.)). Sense shifted 15c. to "shine faintly." Cf. Dutch glimmeren, German glimmeren "to shine dimly." Related: Glimmered; glimmering.

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1580s, from glimmer (v.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper