• synonyms


verb (used without object)
  1. to shine with or reflect a subdued, tremulous light; gleam faintly.
  2. to appear to quiver or vibrate in faint light or while reflecting heat waves.
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  1. a subdued, tremulous light or gleam.
  2. a quivering or vibrating motion or image as produced by reflecting faint light or heat waves.
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Origin of shimmer

before 1100; Middle English schimeren, s(c)hemeren, Old English scimrian; cognate with Dutch schemeren, German schimmern to glisten
Related formsshim·mer·ing·ly, adverbun·shim·mer·ing, adjectiveun·shim·mer·ing·ly, adverb

Synonyms for shimmer

1. glimmer. See glisten.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for shimmered

glint, glitter, sheen, glimmer, luster, shine, twinkle, gleam, sparkle, glow, gloss, glisten, spangle, flash, iridescence, coruscation, spark, scintillation, incandescence, phosphorescence

Examples from the Web for shimmered

Contemporary Examples of shimmered

Historical Examples of shimmered

  • It shimmered and trembled like an iridescent bubble about to break.

  • Shadows, formed by the water on the pane, shimmered on Fernando's face.

    When the Owl Cries

    Paul Bartlett

  • In it was a strange, liquid which shone and shimmered in the half-darkness of the hut.

    The King's Assegai

    Bertram Mitford

  • Then the sharp lines of the throne blurred; it shimmered in the light.

  • He looked at the gauge that shimmered redly before him, disbelieving.

British Dictionary definitions for shimmered


  1. (intr) to shine with a glistening or tremulous light
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  1. a faint, glistening, or tremulous light
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Derived Formsshimmering, adjectiveshimmeringly, adverb

Word Origin for shimmer

Old English scimerian; related to Middle Low German schēmeren to grow dark, Old Norse skimi brightness
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 shimmered



Old English scimerian "to glitter, shimmer, glisten, shine," related to (perhaps a frequentative of) scimian "to shine," from Proto-Germanic *skim- (cf. Swedish skimra, Dutch schemeren "to glitter," German schimmern), from PIE root *skai- "to gleam, to shine" (see shine (v.). Related: Shimmered; shimmering.

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"a tremulous light," 1821, from shimmer (v.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper