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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.
Origin of shimmer
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 shimmering
  • As they make those choices, many teenagers will be chasing an ideal-a shimmering vision of college-as-wonderland.
  • And therein lies the shimmering wonder of a garden mirror.
  • Spite of its brown and trampled leaves, grew bright with shimmering gold.
  • Suddenly in this rift of shimmering brightness there appeared a flock of beautiful white egrets.
  • The paintings play variations on shimmering bands of color.
  • It was their shimmering city of delights that attracted people of all walks of life.
  • Rich woodlands, emerald pastures and the shimmering waters of the lake below added to a pageant of loveliness.
  • But hidden amid the shimmering successes were darker hues.
  • Our breaths lie pinned against the ice in shimmering pools.
  • Along with the feelings of peace and euphoria, there is a general impression of a clear and golden shimmering light.
British Dictionary definitions for shimmering


(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 shimmering



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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