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[glim-er] /ˈglɪm ər/
a faint or unsteady light; gleam.
a dim perception; inkling.
verb (used without object)
to shine faintly or unsteadily; twinkle, shimmer, or flicker.
to appear faintly or dimly.
Origin of glimmer
1300-50; Middle English glimeren to gleam; cognate with German glimmern; compare Old English gleomu splendor
1. See gleam. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for glimmer
  • The sparkle of a lover's secret or the glimmer of a promise kept.
  • But those who discern an opening for a more hopeful future, even a glimmer of outright resolution, have always been proved wrong.
  • Most of the life on this planet gets by without even a glimmer of it.
  • To even get a glimmer of the mirror effect in life is beyond normal comprehension.
  • Low-budget horror films occasionally show the faintest glimmer of talent and are praised out of all proportion to their merits.
  • The last glimmer of sun embraces her as storm clouds roll in.
  • Forever looking for a glimmer of difference that can be interpreted as bias.
  • The glimmer of utility on the horizon are things called quantum dots.
  • And yet, despite setbacks and constant self-vigilance, both could finally begin to see the glimmer of another possibility.
  • Let's try to envisage a glimmer of light somewhere on the horizon.
British Dictionary definitions for glimmer


verb (intransitive)
(of a light, candle, etc) to glow faintly or flickeringly
to be indicated faintly: hope glimmered in his face
a glow or twinkle of light
a faint indication
Derived Forms
glimmeringly, adverb
Word Origin
C14: compare Middle High German glimmern, Swedish glimra, Danish glimre
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 glimmer

early 14c., "shine brightly," a frequentative from Proto-Germanic *glim-, root of Old English glæm "brightness" (see gleam (n.)). Sense shifted 15c. to "shine faintly." Cf. Dutch glimmeren, German glimmeren "to shine dimly." Related: Glimmered; glimmering.


1580s, from glimmer (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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