See more synonyms for glisten on
  1. a glistening; sparkle.

Origin of glisten

before 1000; Middle English glis(t)nen (v.), Old English glisnian, derivative of glisian to glitter; see -en1
Related formsglis·ten·ing·ly, adverbun·glis·ten·ing, adjective

Synonyms for glisten

See more synonyms for on
1. glimmer, gleam, glitter. Glisten, shimmer, sparkle refer to different ways in which light is reflected from surfaces. Glisten refers to a lustrous light, as from something sleek or wet, or it may refer to myriads of tiny gleams reflected from small surfaces: Wet fur glistens. Snow glistens in the sunlight. Shimmer refers to the changing play of light on a (generally moving) surface, as of water or silk: Moonbeams shimmer on water. Silk shimmers in a high light. To sparkle is to give off sparks or small ignited particles, or to send forth small but brilliant gleams, sometimes by reflection: A diamond sparkles with numerous points of light. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for glisten

Contemporary Examples of glisten

Historical Examples of glisten

  • How fine the breast-plates and helmets of those Cuirassiers glisten in the sun!

    Vivian Grey

    Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli

  • The dew in the meadows and the pearls on the wings of butterflies began to glisten.

    The Great Hunger

    Johan Bojer

  • And see the glisten of that glacier in the haze, like a star in the veil of a bride!

  • The sun was fierce, the land seemed to glisten and drip with steam.

    Heart of Darkness

    Joseph Conrad

  • In asking, he removed his hat, glanced at its glisten, put it on again.

    The Paliser case

    Edgar Saltus

British Dictionary definitions for glisten


verb (intr)
  1. (of a wet or glossy surface) to gleam by reflecting lightwet leaves glisten in the sunlight
  2. (of light) to reflect with brightnessthe sunlight glistens on wet leaves
  1. rare a gleam or gloss
Derived Formsglisteningly, adverb

Word Origin for glisten

Old English glisnian; related to glisian to glitter, Middle High German glistern
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 glisten

Old English glisnian "to glisten, gleam," from Proto-Germanic *glis- (cf. Old Frisian glisa "to shine," Middle High German glistern "to sparkle," Old Danish glisse "to shine"), from PIE *ghleis-, from root *ghel- "to shine, glitter, glow, be warm" (see glass). Related: Glistened; glistening.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper