[ shim-er ]
See synonyms for: shimmershimmering on

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.

  1. a subdued, tremulous light or gleam.

  2. a quivering or vibrating motion or image as produced by reflecting faint light or heat waves.

Origin of shimmer

First recorded before 1100; Middle English schimeren, s(c)hemeren, Old English scimrian; cognate with Dutch schemeren, German schimmern “to glisten”

synonym study For shimmer

1. See glisten.

Other words for shimmer

Other words from shimmer

  • shim·mer·ing·ly, adverb
  • un·shim·mer·ing, adjective
  • un·shim·mer·ing·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use shimmer in a sentence

  • Rosemary shook her head doubtfully, and her falling hair of pale, shimmering gold waved like a wheat-field shaken by a breeze.

  • A gentle breeze stirred the air and the surface of the lakes lay shimmering in the soft autumnal light.

  • The shimmering surface of the river near the boat was broken up into ripples surrounding a black object.

    The Red Year | Louis Tracy
  • Um-ko sat motionless against the silver fusuma, an ivory image, crowned and robed in shimmering gray.

    The Dragon Painter | Mary McNeil Fenollosa
  • He stepped forward now, and gripped him with his dusty glove by the sleeve of his shimmering bridegroom's coat.

    Mistress Wilding | Rafael Sabatini

British Dictionary definitions for shimmer


/ (ˈʃɪmə) /

  1. (intr) to shine with a glistening or tremulous light

  1. a faint, glistening, or tremulous light

Origin of shimmer

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

Derived forms of shimmer

  • shimmering, adjective
  • shimmeringly, adverb

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