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[glaw-kuh s] /ˈglɔ kəs/
light bluish-green or greenish-blue.
Botany. covered with a whitish bloom, as a plum.
Origin of glaucous
1665-75; < Latin glaucus silvery, gray, bluish-green < Greek glaukós. See glauco-, -ous
Related forms
glaucously, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for glaucous
Historical Examples
  • Little by little Balthazar's eyes lost their fire and took the glaucous opaque tint which overspreads the eyes of old men.

    The Alkahest Honore de Balzac
  • It was a glaucous, intertwining, delicious flux and contest in flux.

    The Rainbow D. H. (David Herbert) Lawrence
  • Still more common than the glaucous gull in the lands of the High North is kryckian, the kittiwake.

  • It is an acrid, glaucous, leafy and prickly plant, with a milky juice.

    Field and Woodland Plants William S. Furneaux
  • The whole stem has a glaucous hue, and the spines are reddish-brown.

  • Its body is formed of a dozen segments, covered with a glaucous dust.

    The Insect World Louis Figuier
  • It may be readily recognised by the fine glaucous bloom of its stem, and its broad wavy toothed leaves of a glaucous grey colour.

    The Sea Shore William S. Furneaux
  • Our species are biennial, leafy-stemmed, and pale or glaucous.

  • The upper surface of the leaves has a glaucous or whitish tinge, and the shoots are of a clear green.

    The Book of Roses Francis Parkman
  • The glimmer was an enigma, like the glaucous light from the eye-pupil of a Sphinx.

    Toilers of the Sea Victor Hugo
British Dictionary definitions for glaucous


(botany) covered with a bluish waxy or powdery bloom
Derived Forms
glaucously, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from Latin glaucus silvery, bluish-green, from Greek glaukos
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
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Word Origin and History for glaucous

"bluish-green, gray," 1670s, from Latin glaucus "bluish-green," of uncertain origin; used in Homer of the sea as "gleaming, silvery" (apparently without a color connotation); used by later writers with a sense of "bluish-green, gray," of olive leaves and eyes. Homer's glauk-opis Athene probably originally was a "bright-eyed," not a "gray-eyed" goddess. Greek for "owl" was glaux from its bright, staring eyes.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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