[ glimps ]
See synonyms for: glimpseglimpsedglimpsing on

  1. a very brief, passing look, sight, or view.

  2. a momentary or slight appearance.

  1. a vague idea; inkling.

  2. Archaic. a gleam, as of light.

verb (used with object),glimpsed, glimps·ing.
  1. to catch or take a glimpse of.

verb (used without object),glimpsed, glimps·ing.
  1. to look briefly; glance (usually followed by at).

  2. Archaic. to come into view; appear faintly.

Origin of glimpse

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English glimsen (verb); cognate with Middle High German glimsen “to glow”; akin to glimmer

Other words for glimpse

Other words from glimpse

  • glimpser, noun
  • un·glimpsed, adjective

Words that may be confused with glimpse

Words Nearby glimpse Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use glimpse in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for glimpse


/ (ɡlɪmps) /

  1. a brief or incomplete view: to catch a glimpse of the sea

  2. a vague indication: he had a glimpse of what the lecturer meant

  1. archaic a glimmer of light

  1. (tr) to catch sight of briefly or momentarily

  2. (intr usually foll by at) mainly US to look (at) briefly or cursorily; glance (at)

  1. (intr) archaic to shine faintly; glimmer

Origin of glimpse

C14: of Germanic origin; compare Middle High German glimsen to glimmer

usage For glimpse

Glimpse is sometimes wrongly used where glance is meant: he gave a quick glance (not glimpse) at his watch

Derived forms of glimpse

  • glimpser, noun

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