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[glit-er] /ˈglɪt ər/
verb (used without object)
to reflect light with a brilliant, sparkling luster; sparkle with reflected light.
to make a brilliant show.
a sparkling reflected light or luster.
showy splendor.
small glittering ornaments.
Origin of glitter
1300-50; Middle English < Old Norse glitra; compare Old English glitenian, German gleissen to shine, glitter
Related forms
glitteringly, adverb
outglitter, verb (used with object)
unglittering, adjective
1. See flash. 3. sparkle. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for glitter
  • Anyone who pans for gold hopes to be rewarded by the glitter of colors in the fine material collected in the bottom of the pan.
  • All the holiday glitter out there is fun, but don't overlook the magic in the natural materials around you.
  • Which usually goes to glitter buildings or administrative salaries.
  • The sequins on her dress glitter in the candlelight as if her heart were on fire.
  • Serkin made the same music glitter and dance and nearly giggle.
  • The salon has bubblegum pink walls and sundry girly accoutrements-chandeliers, glitter, beauty supplies.
  • The skin for this dolphin was made of rubber silicon, the dandruff made of silver glitter glued on with water-soluble glue.
  • Salt crystals on the wood glitter in the light of her headlamp.
  • And the teams that do bring a lot of glitter with them.
  • Decorate the ornament with glitter, felt, buttons or other recycled objects attached with thread or fabric glue.
British Dictionary definitions for glitter


verb (intransitive)
(of a hard, wet, or polished surface) to reflect light in bright flashes
(of light) to be reflected in bright flashes
(usually foll by with) to be decorated or enhanced by the glamour (of): the show glitters with famous actors
sparkle or brilliance
show and glamour
tiny pieces of shiny decorative material used for ornamentation, as on the skin
(Canadian) Also called silver thaw. ice formed from freezing rain
Derived Forms
glitteringly, adverb
glittery, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Old Norse glitra; related to Old High German glīzan to shine
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 glitter

c.1300, glideren (late 14c. as gliteren), from a Scandinavian source, cf. Old Norse glitra "to glitter," from glit "brightness," from Proto-Germanic *glit- "shining, bright" (cf. Old English glitenian "to glitter, shine; be distinguished," Old High German glizzan, German glitzern, Gothic glitmunjan), from PIE *ghleid- (cf. Greek khlidon, khlidos "ornament"), from root *ghel- "to shine, glitter" (see glass). Related: Glittered; glittering. The noun is c.1600, from the verb. Glitter rock is from 1972.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for glitter



A gaudy style of dress and grooming affected by some musicians, comprising dyed hair, jewels on face and body, and refulgent jumpsuits and cowboy suits (1960s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with glitter
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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