- The definition of a gleam is a brief flash of light or a weak light that lasts for awhile.
An example of a gleam is a beam of light peeking through an open door.
- Gleam is defined as to shine briefly, glow or flash.
An example of to gleam is to briefly shine a flashlight into a dark cave.
- a flash or beam of light
- a faint light
- a reflected brightness, as from a polished surface
- a brief, faint manifestation or trace, as of hope, understanding, etc.
Origin of gleamMiddle English glem from Old English glæm from Indo-European an unverified form ghlei- from an unverified form ?hel-, to shine, gleam from source gold, glass, glow
- to shine or reflect with a gleam or gleams
- to appear or be revealed briefly or suddenly
- A brief beam or flash of light: saw gleams of daylight through the cracks.
- A steady but subdued shining; a glow: the gleam of burnished gold.
- A brief or dim indication; a trace: a gleam of intelligence.
intransitive verbgleamed, gleam·ing, gleams
- To emit a gleam; flash or glow: “Their tile roofs gleamed in the moon's pallid radiance” ( Laura Joh Rowland ) See Synonyms at flash.
- To be reflected as a gleam: The sun gleamed on the water.
- To be manifested or indicated briefly or faintly.
Origin of gleamMiddle English glem from Old English glǣm ; see ghel-2 in Indo-European roots.
(third-person singular simple present gleams, present participle gleaming, simple past and past participle gleamed)
- (noun) Originates before the first millennium from Middle English gleme, from Old English glæm; see Proto-Indo-European *ghel-.
- (verb) Derived from the Middle English noun form before the first millennium.