[shohn; especially British shon]


a simple past tense and past participle of shine1.



verb (used without object), shone or shined, shin·ing.

to give forth or glow with light; shed or cast light.
to be bright with reflected light; glisten; sparkle.
(of light) to appear brightly or strongly, especially uncomfortably so: Wear dark glasses so the sun won't shine in your eyes.
to be or appear unusually animated or bright, as the eyes or face.
to appear with brightness or clearness, as feelings.
to excel or be conspicuous: to shine in school.

verb (used with object), shone or shined, shin·ing.

to cause to shine.
to direct the light of (a lamp, mirror, etc.): Shine the flashlight on the steps so I can see.
to put a gloss or polish on; polish (as shoes, silverware, etc.).


radiance or brightness caused by emitted or reflected light.
luster; polish.
sunshine; fair weather.
a polish or gloss given to shoes.
an act or instance of polishing shoes.
Informal. a foolish prank; caper.
Slang: Extremely Disparaging and Offensive. a contemptuous term used to refer to a black person.

Verb Phrases past and past participle shone or shined; present participle shin·ing.

shine up to, Informal.
  1. to attempt to impress (a person), especially in order to gain benefits for oneself.
  2. to become especially attentive to (one of the opposite sex): Men shine up to her like moths to a light.

Origin of shine

before 900; Middle English s(c)hinen (v.), Old English scīnan; cognate with Dutch schijnen, German scheinen, Old Norse skīna, Gothic skeinan
Related formsun·shined, adjective

Synonyms for shine

1. glimmer, shimmer. Shine, beam, glare refer to the emitting or reflecting of light. Shine refers to a steady glowing or reflecting of light: to shine in the sun. That which beams gives forth a radiant or bright light: to beam like a star. Glare refers to the shining of a light that is not only bright but so strong as to be unpleasant and dazzling: to glare like a headlight. 9. buff, burnish, brighten. 11. gloss, gleam, glow, sheen. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for shone

Contemporary Examples of shone

Historical Examples of shone

  • For that one moment the despair that was in him shone in his eyes.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • In the latter's eyes, for the first time, shone a real and ungrudging admiration.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White

  • The roads were frozen hard, and shone like silver in the ruts.

    Tiverton Tales

    Alice Brown

  • It was the same—the same face that shone across me in that hour of pain!

  • Last of all, Venus shone upon him, beautiful as none can ever hope to be.

    Old Greek Folk Stories Told Anew

    Josephine Preston Peabody

British Dictionary definitions for shone



the past tense and past participle of shine


verb shines, shining or shone

(intr) to emit light
(intr) to glow or be bright with reflected light
(tr) to direct the light of (a lamp, etc)he shone the torch in my eyes
(tr; past tense and past participle shined) to cause to gleam by polishingto shine shoes
(intr) to be conspicuously competent; excelshe shines at tennis
(intr) to appear clearly; be conspicuousthe truth shone out of his words


the state or quality of shining; sheen; lustre
rain or shine or come rain or shine
  1. whatever the weather
  2. regardless of circumstances
informal short for moonshine (def. 2)
informal a liking or fancy (esp in the phrase take a shine to)

Word Origin for shine

Old English scīnan; related to Old Norse skīna, Gothic skeinan, Old High German scīnan to shine, Greek skia shadow
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 shone



Old English scinan "shed light, be radiant, be resplendent, iluminate," of persons, "be conspicuous" (class I strong verb; past tense scan, past participle scinen), from Proto-Germanic *skinan (cf. Old Saxon and Old High German skinan, Old Norse and Old Frisian skina, Dutch schijnen, German scheinen, Gothic skeinan "to shine, appear"), from PIE root *skai- (2) "to gleam, shine, flicker" (cf. Sanskrit chaya "brilliance, luster; shadow," Greek skia "shade," Old Church Slavonic sinati "to flash up, shine," Albanian he "shadow"). Transitive meaning "to black (boots)" is from 1610s. Related: Shined (in the shoe polish sense), otherwise shone; shining.



1520s, "brightness," from shine (v.). Meaning "polish given to a pair of boots" is from 1871. Derogatory meaning "black person" is from 1908. Phrase to take a shine to "fancy" is American English slang from 1839, perhaps from shine up to "attempt to please as a suitor." Shiner is from late 14c. as "something that shines;" sense of "black eye" first recorded 1904.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with shone


In addition to the idiom beginning with shine

  • shine up to

also see:

  • make hay while the sun shines
  • rain or shine
  • rise and shine
  • take a fancy (shine) to
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.