glass ceiling

glass ceiling

noun
an upper limit to professional advancement, especially as imposed upon women, that is not readily perceived or openly acknowledged.

Origin:
1985–90

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
glass ceiling
 
n
a situation in which progress, esp promotion, appears to be possible but restrictions or discrimination create a barrier that prevents it

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

glass ceiling definition


An unacknowledged — and ultimately illegal — barrier to advancement, especially for women and people of color: “In many professions a woman cannot break through the glass ceiling to the upper level of management.” The term dates from the 1980s.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

glass ceiling

An unacknowledged discriminatory barrier to advancement, especially for women and minorities. For example, Harriet knew she'd never be promotedshe would never get through the glass ceiling. [1980s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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