There are 2 main definitions of glance in English:

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glance 1

Syllabification: glance


[no object]
1Take a brief or hurried look: Ginny glanced at her watch
More example sentences
  • I saw him frown and I watched, as it grew deeper when he glanced at me for a moment before glancing back down at the photo.
  • I glanced at a kid that looked about my age who was glancing around nervously until he saw me looking at him and gave me a hard look.
  • He gave a sigh of relief as she glanced at him and gave him a small smile, then glanced back down at the floor and blushed.
look briefly, look quickly, peek, peep;
informal have a gander
1.1 (glance at/through) Read quickly or cursorily: I glanced through your personnel file last night
More example sentences
  • Thus, by just taking a cursory glance through the list one notices that alloy steel has larger industrial applications in each of the segments as raw materials.
  • Having this in your wallet will allow you to quickly glance at it before parting with your money.
  • I haven't read it, but glancing through it, there are some pretty objectionable statements.
read quickly, scan, skim through, leaf through, flip through, thumb through, browse (through);
dip into
2Hit something at an angle and bounce off obliquely: he saw a stone glance off a crag and hit Tom on the head
More example sentences
  • Instead, they glance off walls at 200 mph, looking showroom fresh.
  • First, the axes glance off the tree, the wood is so hard to cut.
  • The wooden shaft was flitted with small bits of steel and iron, so it could glance off blades and other things without being split or cut.
ricochet off, rebound off, be deflected off, bounce off;
graze, clip
2.1(Especially of light) reflect off something with a brief flash: sunlight glanced off the curved body of a dolphin
More example sentences
  • A ray of sunlight glanced off the walls of the castle on the shores of Edinample, lighting up its whiteness against the surrounding trees.
  • The gentle rays glanced over his blond locks, turning them into glistening sliver and gold.
  • It stands towering over the landscape, the sun's rays glancing off the polished superstructure to dance upon the gently rippling waters of the canal below.
2.2 [with object] (In ball games) deflect (the ball) slightly with a delicate contact: he glanced the ball into the right corner of the net
More example sentences
  • He met the free kick with his head and glanced the ball into the net.
  • His cross was nicely placed for the young striker to glance the ball past the goalie, raise the spirits of the home support and signal the charge for the final period of the game.
  • In fact, the defence was missing en mass when he got on the end of a well-timed cross to glance the ball home with his head at the near post.


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1A brief or hurried look: Sean and Michael exchanged glances
More example sentences
  • The briefest of glances in her direction found her to be still looking at me, still silent.
  • This is but a brief glance back into how our ancestors managed to live without electricity or many of the mod cons we have today.
  • I waited for a few girls to come down the stairs, smiled distractedly at their approving glances, and then hurried upstairs.
peek, peep, brief look, quick look, glimpse
informal gander
2 literary A flash or gleam of light.


at a glance
Immediately upon looking: she saw at a glance what had happened
More example sentences
  • Divide the number of calls by the number of operators, and you could see at a glance how ‘efficiently’ your centre was operating.
  • Even experts can't tell if they are real or fake at a glance.
  • Use bold type for emphasis, use spaces between lines and points so that it's easy to see the essence of your message at a glance.
at first glance
When seen or considered for the first time, especially briefly: good news, at first glance, for frequent travelers
More example sentences
  • As would be expected, however, there is much more going on within the picture than is apparent at first glance.
  • A grotesque formation vase catches the attention of guests at first glance.
  • This seems to offer little guidance at first glance, however some common ground is starting to emerge.
on the face of it, on the surface, at first sight, to the casual eye, to all appearances;
apparently, seemingly, outwardly, superficially, it would seem, it appears, as far as one can see/tell, by all accounts
glance one's eye
archaic Look briefly: glancing his severe eye around the group
More example sentences
  • ‘Indeed, your example is an unfortunate one for your argument,’ said Holmes, taking the paper and glancing his eye down it.
  • At first glance my eye goes up to that ball of flame on the right.
  • As he glanced his eye rapidly over the fatal list, he was much moved at finding there the names of more than one who had some claim to consideration in the army.


Example sentences
  • It is notable that none of these three perils has been more than glancingly mentioned in the election debates that have just ended.
  • The city's residential core has grown so strong that developers are now looking at parts of the city once considered so broken they were spoken of glancingly and only in the most ominous of terms.
  • Anyone even glancingly aware of these activities begins to suspect that the microscopic world of gene sequences and genetic interactions somehow determines our lives and our experiences.


Late Middle English (in the sense 'rebound obliquely'): probably a nasalized form of obsolete glace in the same sense, from Old French glacier 'to slip', from glace 'ice', based on Latin glacies.

Words that rhyme with glance

advance, Afrikaans, à outrance, chance, dance, enhance, entrance, faience, France, lance, mischance, outdance, perchance, prance, Provence, stance, trance
Definition of glance in:
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There are 2 main definitions of glance in English:

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glance 2 Syllabification: glance


A shiny sulfide ore of lead, copper, or other metal.
Example sentences
  • It is usually assumed that when lead glance is opened up with nitric and tartaric acids and water, the silver remains in solution as nitrate.


Late Middle English: from German Glanz 'brightness, luster'; compare with Dutch glanserts 'glance ore'.

Definition of glance in:
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