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[shim-er] /ˈʃɪm ər/
verb (used without object)
to shine with or reflect a subdued, tremulous light; gleam faintly.
to appear to quiver or vibrate in faint light or while reflecting heat waves.
a subdued, tremulous light or gleam.
a quivering or vibrating motion or image as produced by reflecting faint light or heat waves.
before 1100; Middle English schimeren, s(c)hemeren, Old English scimrian; cognate with Dutch schemeren, German schimmern to glisten
Related forms
shimmeringly, adverb
unshimmering, adjective
unshimmeringly, adverb
1. glimmer. See glisten. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for shimmered
  • Over the heads of countless mourners, the distant city skyline shimmered and beckoned mysteriously, its sparkle betraying sadness.
  • It was marble, but the surface shimmered with a coating of milk.
  • Not far away shimmered the mirage of home promised by bright, familiar logos.
  • The sky shimmered with stars, and a steady southerly breeze dispersed the mosquitoes.
  • On a screen behind him, a cluster of buildings shimmered, their color somewhere between silver and gold.
  • It's no surprise that beneath their shining armor, knights shimmered with sweat.
  • By day the structure shimmered in the sunlight and reflected the brick and limestone buildings around it.
  • The paint shimmered, the hubcaps shined and the windows sparkled in the sun.
  • Soon the top reaches of the water shimmered with the green dye marking the antibiotic.
  • The air shimmered about the dark tower, heat radiating from its stone in waves, forming spectral images that darted and flew.
British Dictionary definitions for shimmered


(intransitive) to shine with a glistening or tremulous light
a faint, glistening, or tremulous light
Derived Forms
shimmering, adjective
shimmeringly, adverb
Word Origin
Old English scimerian; related to Middle Low German schēmeren to grow dark, Old Norse skimi brightness
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 shimmered



Old English scimerian "to glitter, shimmer, glisten, shine," related to (perhaps a frequentative of) scimian "to shine," from Proto-Germanic *skim- (cf. Swedish skimra, Dutch schemeren "to glitter," German schimmern), from PIE root *skai- "to gleam, to shine" (see shine (v.). Related: Shimmered; shimmering.


"a tremulous light," 1821, from shimmer (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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