Definition of gleam in English:


Line breaks: gleam
Pronunciation: /gliːm


[no object]
  • 1Shine brightly, especially with reflected light: light gleamed on the china cats her eyes gleamed with satisfaction
    More example sentences
    • The stars gleaming and moon shining lit my way to the secluded hill as the noise of everyone behind me faded.
    • A light flickered, then a red flare seemed to gleam brightly.
    • As he looked at me, he flashed a seemingly perfect smile, his straight white teeth gleamed in the light.
  • 1.1(Of a smooth surface or object) reflect light because well polished: Victor buffed the glass until it gleamed (as adjective gleaming) gleaming black limousines
    More example sentences
    • Silver metallic surfaces gleamed at him from every angle, a tangled heap of wires residing around five power ports in a row.
    • The rich, dark, walnut surface gleamed like glass, the china and silver twinkling in the light cast from two huge candelabra.
    • Smooth polished oak flooring gleamed in the afternoon light flooding in from the open windows.
  • 1.2(Of an emotion or quality) be expressed through the brightness of a person’s eyes: affection gleamed in her large green eyes
    More example sentences
    • It unnerved him when she looked at him with fear gleaming in her eyes.
    • Krystal looked at him once, with disappointment gleaming wetly in her eyes.
    • All I ever wanted in life was to make them proud, to see them smiling at me, pride gleaming in their eyes.


Back to top  


a gleam in someone's eye

see eye.



More example sentences
  • There are immaculately turned out sheep, goats with coats that might have been tailored in Savile Row, ponies groomed gleamingly to perfection.
  • They were - all at once - caring, compassionate, interested in single mothers and the homeless and gleamingly modern.
  • As smooth as silk they glided over their set, gleamingly polished, if slightly bland, and as always, chilled to a shiver.


adjective ( • archaic )
More example sentences
  • We walk from one to the next on goat trails beneath a gleamy Aegean sky.
  • And when the rain finished my car looked as clean and gleamy as anyone else's.
  • Aurelia noted the walls, coated with a gleamy stuff like the bricks at her school.


Old English glǣm 'brilliant light', of Germanic origin.

More definitions of gleam

Definition of gleam in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day mage
Pronunciation: māj
a magician or learned person