[glos-ee, glaw-see]

adjective, gloss·i·er, gloss·i·est.

having a shiny or lustrous surface.
having a false or deceptive appearance or air, especially of experience or sophistication; specious.

noun, plural gloss·ies.

a photograph printed on glossy paper.

Origin of glossy

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

Synonyms for glossy

Antonyms for glossy

1. dull. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for glossy

Contemporary Examples of glossy

Historical Examples of glossy

  • She had a ribbon in her long, glossy hair, and her face shone pleasantly with soap.

    In the Valley

    Harold Frederic

  • She had exquisite teeth, and her head was covered with thick, glossy hair.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • Grip soon recovered his looks, and became as glossy and sleek as ever.

    Barnaby Rudge

    Charles Dickens

  • The American slapped his glossy boot with his whip, lowered his voice, and said, "There!"

  • The Marquise spoke to him kindly, and she stooped to pat the dog's glossy head.

    St. Martin's Summer

    Rafael Sabatini

British Dictionary definitions for glossy


adjective glossier or glossiest

smooth and shiny; lustrous
superficially attractive; plausible
(of a magazine) lavishly produced on shiny paper and usually with many colour photographs

noun plural glossies

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)
a photograph printed on paper that has a smooth shiny surface
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 glossy

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper