[ glos, glaws ]
/ glɒs, glɔs /


verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)

to make glosses.


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Origin of gloss

1250–1300; (noun) Middle English glose (< Old French glose) < Medieval Latin glōsa, glōza < Greek glôssa word requiring explanation, literally, language, tongue; (v.) Middle English glosen < Medieval Latin glōssāre, derivative of glōsa; cf. gloze, reflecting the Old French pronunciation of verb


gloss·ing·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for gloss over (1 of 3)

gloss over

verb (tr, adverb)

to hide under a deceptively attractive surface or appearance
to deal with (unpleasant facts) rapidly and cursorily, or to omit them altogether from an account of something

British Dictionary definitions for gloss over (2 of 3)

/ (ɡlɒs) /


  1. lustre or sheen, as of a smooth surface
  2. (as modifier)gloss paint
a superficially attractive appearance
a cosmetic preparation applied to the skin to give it a faint sheenlip gloss


to give a gloss to or obtain a gloss
See also gloss over

Derived forms of gloss

glosser, nounglossless, adjective

Word Origin for gloss

C16: probably of Scandinavian origin; compare Icelandic glossi flame, Middle High German glosen to glow

British Dictionary definitions for gloss over (3 of 3)

/ (ɡlɒs) /


a short or expanded explanation or interpretation of a word, expression, or foreign phrase in the margin or text of a manuscript, etc
an intentionally misleading explanation or interpretation
short for glossary

verb (tr)

to add glosses to

Derived forms of gloss

glosser, nounglossingly, adverb

Word Origin for gloss

C16: from Latin glōssa unusual word requiring explanatory note, from Ionic Greek
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

Idioms and Phrases with gloss over

gloss over

Make attractive or acceptable by deception or superficial treatment. For example, His resumé glossed over his lack of experience, or She tried to gloss over the mistake by insisting it would make no difference. [Mid-1600s]

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