gloss over


2 [glos, glaws]
an explanation or translation, by means of a marginal or interlinear note, of a technical or unusual expression in a manuscript text.
a series of verbal interpretations of a text.
a glossary.
an artfully misleading interpretation.
verb (used with object)
to insert glosses on; annotate.
to place (a word) in a gloss.
to give a specious interpretation of; explain away (often followed by over or away ): to gloss over a serious problem with a pat solution.
verb (used without object)
to make glosses.

1250–1300; (noun) Middle English glose (< Old French glose) < Medieval Latin glōsa, glōza < Greek glôssa word requiring explanation, literally, language, tongue; (v.) Middle English glosen < Medieval Latin glōssāre, derivative of glōsa; cf. gloze, reflecting OF pronunciation of verb

glossingly, adverb

1. comment, annotation. 2. commentary, critique, exegesis, explication. 5. explain, interpret, analyze, explicate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
gloss1 (ɡlɒs)
1.  a.  lustre or sheen, as of a smooth surface
 b.  (as modifier): gloss paint
2.  a superficially attractive appearance
3.  See gloss paint
4.  a cosmetic preparation applied to the skin to give it a faint sheen: lip gloss
5.  to give a gloss to or obtain a gloss
[C16: probably of Scandinavian origin; compare Icelandic glossi flame, Middle High German glosen to glow]

gloss2 (ɡlɒs)
1.  a short or expanded explanation or interpretation of a word, expression, or foreign phrase in the margin or text of a manuscript, etc
2.  an intentionally misleading explanation or interpretation
3.  short for glossary
4.  to add glosses to
[C16: from Latin glōssa unusual word requiring explanatory note, from Ionic Greek]

gloss over
1.  to hide under a deceptively attractive surface or appearance
2.  to deal with (unpleasant facts) rapidly and cursorily, or to omit them altogether from an account of something

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"luster," 1538, from Scand. (cf. Icelandic glossi "flame," related to glossa "to flame"), or obsolete Du. gloos "a glowing," from M.H.G. glos.

"word inserted as an explanation," 1548, gloze, from L. glossa "obsolete or foreign word," from Gk. glossa (Ionic), glotta (Attic) "obscure word, language," lit. "tongue." Extended sense of "explain away" is 1638, from idea of a note inserted in the margin of a text to explain a difficult word.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
Global Sea Level Observing System
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

gloss over

Make attractive or acceptable by deception or superficial treatment. For example, His resumé glossed over his lack of experience, or She tried to gloss over the mistake by insisting it would make no difference. [Mid-1600s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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