[ glit-er ]
/ ˈglɪt ər /

verb (used without object)

to reflect light with a brilliant, sparkling luster; sparkle with reflected light.
to make a brilliant show.


a sparkling reflected light or luster.
showy splendor.
small glittering ornaments.

Nearby words

  1. glisson's capsule,
  2. glissonitis,
  3. glisten,
  4. glister,
  5. glitch,
  6. glitter ice,
  7. glitterati,
  8. glittering,
  9. glittertinden,
  10. glittery

Origin of glitter

1300–50; Middle English < Old Norse glitra; compare Old English glitenian, German gleissen to shine, glitter

1. See flash. 3. sparkle.

Related formsglit·ter·ing·ly, adverbout·glit·ter, verb (used with object)un·glit·ter·ing, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for glitter

British Dictionary definitions for glitter


/ (ˈɡlɪtə) /

verb (intr)

(of a hard, wet, or polished surface) to reflect light in bright flashes
(of light) to be reflected in bright flashes
(usually foll by with) to be decorated or enhanced by the glamour (of)the show glitters with famous actors


Derived Formsglitteringly, adverbglittery, adjective

Word Origin for glitter

C14: from Old Norse glitra; related to Old High German glīzan to shine

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 glitter



c.1300, glideren (late 14c. as gliteren), from a Scandinavian source, cf. Old Norse glitra "to glitter," from glit "brightness," from Proto-Germanic *glit- "shining, bright" (cf. Old English glitenian "to glitter, shine; be distinguished," Old High German glizzan, German glitzern, Gothic glitmunjan), from PIE *ghleid- (cf. Greek khlidon, khlidos "ornament"), from root *ghel- "to shine, glitter" (see glass). Related: Glittered; glittering. The noun is c.1600, from the verb. Glitter rock is from 1972.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with glitter


see all that glitters is not gold.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.