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[glos-ee, glaw-see] /ˈglɒs i, ˈglɔ si/
adjective, glossier, glossiest.
having a shiny or lustrous surface.
having a false or deceptive appearance or air, especially of experience or sophistication; specious.
noun, plural glossies.
slick1 (def 9).
a photograph printed on glossy paper.
Origin of glossy
1550-60; gloss1 + -y1
Related forms
glossily, adverb
glossiness, noun
nonglossy, adjective
unglossy, adjective
1. shining, polished, glazed.
1. dull. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for glossy
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Leaves healthy, light green, glossy; veins well defined, distinctly showing through the thick bronze of the lower surface.

  • She had a ribbon in her long, glossy hair, and her face shone pleasantly with soap.

    In the Valley Harold Frederic
  • It is a large tree of dense foliage, and round, glossy, dark-green leaves.

    The Syrian Christ Abraham Mitrie Rihbany
  • She had exquisite teeth, and her head was covered with thick, glossy hair.

    My Double Life Sarah Bernhardt
  • The tall girl with the blue eyes and glossy brown hair, Judith Stearns, possessed a certain dignity Jane had not yet acquired.

    Jane Allen: Center Edith Bancroft
British Dictionary definitions for glossy


adjective glossier, glossiest
smooth and shiny; lustrous
superficially attractive; plausible
(of a magazine) lavishly produced on shiny paper and usually with many colour photographs
noun (pl) glossies
Also called (US) slick. an expensively produced magazine, typically a sophisticated fashion or glamour magazine, printed on shiny paper and containing high quality colour photography Compare pulp (sense 3)
a photograph printed on paper that has a smooth shiny surface
Derived Forms
glossily, adverb
glossiness, noun
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 glossy

1550s, from gloss (n.1) + -y (2). Figurative use from 1690s. The noun sense of "photograph with a glossy surface" is from 1931. Related: Glossiness.

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



  1. A magazine printed on shiny coated paper; a high-quality magazine; slick: female editors of the powerful ''glossies''/ start their own glossies in three very different cities (1940s+)
  2. A photograph printed on shiny paper (1920s+)
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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