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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.
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 glittering
  • When the economy is good and all is bright and shiny, you have sparkling exuberance and glittering whimsicality.
  • Come winter, he might be soldering icicles into glittering loops or star bursts with his bare fingers.
  • The mud around the car was flecked with dozens of tiny, glittering diamonds.
  • When characters are killed, they shatter into thousands of glittering cubes.
  • Now and again a whimsically painted steeple breaks the horizon, its gilded cupola glittering in the bright spring sun.
  • For a time, his glittering musical talents protected him.
  • In terms of size and population, each is a continent-and for all the glittering growth rates, a poor one.
  • With a different surname, he could have a glittering career at another media firm.
  • These are big and well-known, but do not have the glittering reputations of the first two groups.
  • The other treasures in the mound were no less glittering.
British Dictionary definitions for glittering


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 glittering



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 glittering



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 glittering
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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