gleam

[gleem]
noun
1.
a flash or beam of light: the gleam of a lantern in the dark.
2.
a dim or subdued light.
3.
a brief or slight manifestation or occurrence; trace: a gleam of hope.
verb (used without object)
4.
to send forth a gleam or gleams.
5.
to appear suddenly and clearly like a flash of light.

Origin:
before 1000; (noun) Middle English glem(e), Old English glǣm; cognate with Old High German gleimo glowworm; akin to Old Saxon glīmo brightness; (v.) Middle English, derivative of the noun See glimmer, glimpse

gleamingly, adverb
gleamless, adjective
outgleam, verb (used with object)
ungleaming, adjective


1. Gleam, glimmer, beam, ray are terms for a stream of light. Gleam denotes a not very brilliant, intermittent or nondirectional stream of light. Glimmer indicates a nondirectional light that is feeble and unsteady: a faint glimmer of moonlight. Beam usually means a directional, and therefore smaller, stream: the beam from a searchlight. Ray usually implies a still smaller amount of light than a beam, a single line of light: a ray through a pinprick in a window shade. 4. shine, glimmer, flash, glitter, sparkle, beam.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
gleam (ɡliːm)
 
n
1.  a small beam or glow of light, esp reflected light
2.  a brief or dim indication: a gleam of hope
 
vb
3.  to send forth or reflect a beam of light
4.  to appear, esp briefly: intelligence gleamed in his eyes
 
[Old English glǣm; related to Old Norse gljā to flicker, Old High German gleimo glow-worm, glīmo brightness, Old Irish glē bright]
 
'gleaming
 
adj
 
'gleamy
 
adj
 
'gleamingly
 
adv

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

gleam
O.E. glæm "brightness, splendor, radiance," from P.Gmc. *glaimiz (cf. M.H.G. glim "spark," gleime "glowworm;" O.N. glija "to shine, glitter"), from root *glim-, from PIE *ghlei- "to shine, glitter, glow, be warm." Verb is early 13c., from the noun.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Yesterday's memories may sparkle and gleam, tomorrow is still but a dream.
Research with human embryos is not a mere gleam in the eye of medical science.
Little waves played with the sun, sometimes throwing a gleam into our eyes.
Still, he dealt with drug addicts on a daily basis, and he'd spotted the same
  demonic gleam in my eye.
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