a hard, impure, protein gelatin, obtained by boiling skins, hoofs, and other animal substances in water, that when melted or diluted is a strong adhesive.
any of various solutions or preparations of this substance, used as an adhesive.
any of various other solutions or preparations that can be used as adhesives.

verb (used with object), glued, glu·ing.

to join or fasten with glue.
to cover or smear (something) with glue (sometimes followed by up).
to fix or attach firmly with or as if with glue; make adhere closely: to glue a model ship together.

Origin of glue

1300–50; (noun) Middle English glu, gleu < Old French glu < Latin glūt- (stem of glūs); cognate with Greek gloiós gum, anything sticky; (v.) Middle English glywen, glewen, derivative of the noun
Related formsglue·like, adjectiveglu·er, nounre·glue, verb (used with object), re·glued, re·glu·ing.

Synonyms for glue Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for glue

Contemporary Examples of glue

Historical Examples of glue

  • Cover the tongue thoroughly with glue, and also put some on the inside of the groove.

    Flying Machines

    W.J. Jackman and Thos. H. Russell

  • I don't mind it much, because it keeps that glue smell off me, but it's fairly strong.

    Alice Adams

    Booth Tarkington

  • Pay me what you expect to make out o' glue, you mean, Virgil?

    Alice Adams

    Booth Tarkington

  • She was thinking vaguely about the glue factory and wondering if there might be "something in it" after all.

    Alice Adams

    Booth Tarkington

  • Don't you know how bad most glue is when you try to mend anything?

    Alice Adams

    Booth Tarkington

British Dictionary definitions for glue



any natural or synthetic adhesive, esp a sticky gelatinous substance prepared by boiling animal products such as bones, skin, and horns
any other sticky or adhesive substance

verb glues, gluing, glueing or glued

(tr) to join or stick together with or as if with glue
Derived Formsgluelike, adjectivegluer, noungluey, adjective

Word Origin for glue

C14: from Old French glu, from Late Latin glūs; compare Greek gloios
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 glue

early 13c., from Old French glu "birdlime" (12c.), from Late Latin glutem (nominative glus) "glue," from Latin gluten "glue, beeswax," from PIE *gleit- "to glue, paste" (cf. Lithuanian glitus "sticky," glitas "mucus;" Old English cliða "plaster"), from root *glei- "to stick together" (see clay). In reference to glue from boiled animal hoofs and hides, c.1400. Glue-sniffing attested from 1963.


late 14c., from Old French gluer, from glu (see glue (n.)). Related: Glued; gluing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper