• synonyms


[glos-ee, glaw-see]
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adjective, gloss·i·er, gloss·i·est.
  1. having a shiny or lustrous surface.
  2. having a false or deceptive appearance or air, especially of experience or sophistication; specious.
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noun, plural gloss·ies.
  1. slick1(def 9).
  2. a photograph printed on glossy paper.
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Origin of glossy

First recorded in 1550–60; gloss1 + -y1
Related formsgloss·i·ly, adverbgloss·i·ness, nounnon·gloss·y, adjectiveun·gloss·y, adjective


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1. dull.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

varnish, veneer, glaze, luster, shine, finish, gleam, brightness, appearance, brilliance, shimmer, facade, burnish, surface, glint, front, polish, sheen, glossiness

Examples from the Web for glossiness

Historical Examples

  • The skin was clean and shone with the glossiness of much soap.

    Tess of the Storm Country

    Grace Miller White

  • Her hair had all the warmth and glossiness of that of a healthy girl of eighteen.

    Materialized Apparitions

    Edward Augustus Brackett

  • It not only serves to maintain flesh, but it is favorable to glossiness in the coat.

  • It is in the neatness of his 'shave' and the glossiness of his rich black cue that the Chinese dandy is distinguishable.

  • It is also conducive to glossiness of coat and healthiness of skin, but unless used sparingly affects the wind.

    Riding and Driving

    Edward L. Anderson

British Dictionary definitions for glossiness


adjective glossier or glossiest
  1. smooth and shiny; lustrous
  2. superficially attractive; plausible
  3. (of a magazine) lavishly produced on shiny paper and usually with many colour photographs
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noun plural glossies
  1. Also called (US): slick an expensively produced magazine, typically a sophisticated fashion or glamour magazine, printed on shiny paper and containing high quality colour photographyCompare pulp (def. 3)
  2. a photograph printed on paper that has a smooth shiny surface
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Derived Formsglossily, adverbglossiness, 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

Word Origin and History for glossiness



1550s, from gloss (n.1) + -y (2). Figurative use from 1690s. The noun sense of "photograph with a glossy surface" is from 1931. Related: Glossiness.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper