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See more synonyms for glimmering on Thesaurus.com
  1. a faint or unsteady light; glimmer.
  2. a faint glimpse or idea; inkling.
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  1. shining faintly or unsteadily; shimmering.
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Origin of glimmering

Middle English word dating back to 1300–50; see origin at glimmer, -ing1, -ing2
Related formsglim·mer·ing·ly, adverb


  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 glimmering

glisten, twinkle, gleam, flicker, shimmer, glint, shine, flash, blink, coruscate, fade, glister, scintillate, glance, glitter, glow

Examples from the Web for glimmering

Contemporary Examples of glimmering

Historical Examples of glimmering

  • A glimmering of the truth came to Dunk, and his eyes narrowed.

  • And the lamps shone round them, and above them was the glimmering moon.

    A Son of Hagar

    Sir Hall Caine

  • Zora knows this glimmering light is not love, but renunciation.


    James Huneker

  • The glimmering of an explanation of this did not come until a long time afterward.


    Victor Endersby

  • Side by side they had sat, watching that glimmering scene about them.

British Dictionary definitions for glimmering


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 glimmering



1580s, from glimmer (v.).

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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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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper