Definition of shine in English:

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Pronunciation: /ʃʌɪn/

verb (past and past participle shone /ʃɒn/ or shined)

[no object]
1(Of the sun or another source of light) give out a bright light: the sun shone through the window
More example sentences
  • When we arrived in Cape Town the sun was shining down and the people were warm and welcoming.
  • Mr Pike, whose mother was from Burnley, said when he was growing up he thought the sun did not shine in the town because of the pollution spewed out by the cotton factories.
  • The sun was shining bright, and we had all of the windows open, allowing a nice breeze to fill the truck.
emit light, give off light, beam, radiate, gleam, glow, glint, glimmer, sparkle, twinkle, flicker, glitter, glisten, shimmer, flash, dazzle, flare, glare, fluoresce
literary glister
rare coruscate, fulgurate, effulge, luminesce, incandesce, phosphoresce
1.1Glow or be bright with reflected light: she brushed her hair until it shone
More example sentences
  • He picked up his comb and began untangling his blonde hair, until it shone in the light and stood in place.
  • His soft, straight hair shone in the dim glow from the outside light.
  • When he smiled, his white square teeth shone, reflecting bright sparks of light.
gleaming, bright, illuminated, lit, lighted, ablaze, brilliant, lustrous, glowing, glinting, sparkling, coruscating, twinkling, flickering, glittering, glistening, shimmering, flashing, dazzling, glaring, luminous, luminescent, incandescent, phosphorescent, fluorescent
literary glistering, irradiant, lucent, lucid, lambent
rare effulgent, refulgent, fulgurating
shiny, bright, polished, burnished, gleaming, glossy, glassy, satiny, sheeny, lustrous, smooth
rare nitid
1.2(Of a person’s eyes) be bright with emotion: his eyes shone with excitement
More example sentences
  • Her eyes shone with bright adoration and what seemed to be respect.
  • His bright, blue eyes shone with joy as he played, and he laughed aloud.
  • Her bright, vibrant eyes shone with gratitude as her steadfast gaze met Kynan's.
glowing, beaming, radiant, blooming, healthy, happy
1.3 [with object and adverbial of direction] Direct (a torch or other light) somewhere in order to see something in the dark: he shone the torch around the room before entering
More example sentences
  • John went in first, slowly, shining a torch light ahead of him.
  • She pulled out a small torch and shone the light into Collette's eyes.
  • A woman with a torch shone the light onto the water, following along the guardrail on-board, trying to spot a body.
2Be very talented or perform very well: a boy who shone at nothing
More example sentences
  • But too much could be tough to take - he was such an upbeat, shining example.
  • All of this is inspired by the resolute Texan's shining example.
  • I opened my laptop and showed her shining example after shining example of similarly awful dialogue.
excel, be outstanding, be brilliant, be excellent, be very good, be successful, be expert, stand out, be pre-eminent
paragon, model, epitome, archetype, ideal, exemplar, nonpareil, paradigm, embodiment, personification, quintessence, standard, prototype, apotheosis, the crème de la crème, the beau idéal, acme, jewel, gem, flower, angel, treasure, an outstanding example, a perfect example of its kind
informal one in a million, the bee's knees, something else, the tops
archaic a nonesuch
3 (past and past participle shined) [with object] Make (an object made of leather, metal, or wood) bright by rubbing it; polish: his shoes were shined to perfection
More example sentences
  • His shoes were shined to perfection and his dark, just about black, hair had been combed tidily.
  • The walls were sheathed with finely shined wood, and plain white carpeting lined the floors.
  • To shine patent leather, moisten a soft cloth with white vinegar and wipe clean all patent leather articles.
polish, burnish, buff, wax, gloss, brighten, brush, smooth, rub up


[in singular]
1A quality of brightness produced when light is reflected on something: my hair has lost its shine
More example sentences
  • He shook his head, the firelight reflecting off the shine of his bare torso.
  • It was a 1996 Mustang GT coated in the shine of a bright, electric blue.
  • He responds with a luminous shine and a mirthful grin.
light, brightness, gleam, glow, glint, glimmer, sparkle, twinkle, flicker, glitter, glisten, shimmer, flash, dazzle, beam, flare, glare, radiance, illumination, luminescence, luminosity, incandescence, phosphorescence, fluorescence
rare refulgence, lambency, effulgence, fulguration
1.1An act of rubbing something to give it a shiny surface: Archie’s shoes got a quick shine from a boy with a cloth
More example sentences
  • The day I was there, the beautician started by cleaning the natural nail to remove the surface shine and oils and then applied disinfectant and primer.
  • He was also scornful of the use of varnish, which is a quick way for artists to make the surface shine and also to protect it.
  • A vinyl or polyurethane finish has been applied on the surface to keep a shine without waxing; the urethane is more durable.



take the shine off

Spoil the brilliance or excitement of: these concerns are taking the shine off Britain’s economic recovery
More example sentences
  • However you look at it, it takes the shine off all those positive press releases boasting how she keeps playing to full houses in Las Vegas, doesn't it?
  • But, disappointing as that decision was, Rovers shouldn't let it take the shine off what was an otherwise fantastic night.
  • Even that defeat could not take the shine off what has been an amazing year for this remarkable young man.

take a shine to

informal Develop a liking for: Bill’s taken quite a shine to her
More example sentences
  • Mum wasn't wanting to supply such a thing naturally but she had been wondering how to wean Graham off his dummy which he still took a shine to.
  • She has brought her medals to the table and it is the Olympic ones it is impossible not to take a shine to.
  • Phil said: ‘I took a shine to Liz straight away but didn't fancy my chances.’

Phrasal verbs

shine through

(Of a good quality or skill) be clearly evident: at Murrayfield his talent shone through
More example sentences
  • His evident sincerity and resolve shone through once again; he is his own best weapon.
  • The food was mainly pretty good and the quality of the ingredients shone through, even where the combinations worked less well for us.
  • Not as exotic as some might like, but the quality shone through.


Old English scīnan, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch schijnen and German scheinen.

Words that rhyme with shine

align, assign, benign, brine, chine, cline, combine, condign, confine, consign, dine, divine, dyne, enshrine, entwine, fine, frontline, hardline, interline, intertwine, kine, Klein, line, Main, malign, mine, moline, nine, on-line, opine, outshine, pine, Rhein, Rhine, shrine, sign, sine, spine, spline, stein, Strine, swine, syne, thine, tine, trine, twine, Tyne, underline, undermine, vine, whine, wine

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: shine

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