Main definitions of glance in English

: glance1glance2

glance1

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • 1Take a brief or hurried look:

    ‘Ginny glanced at her watch’
    • ‘The man glanced at the clock on the far wall.’
    • ‘He glanced sidelong at his passenger, wondering what she was running away from.’
    • ‘She reached the other side and stopped on the curb, then glanced back over her shoulder.’
    • ‘"So what are you getting, " Kace inquired as she quickly glanced up in his direction.’
    • ‘The boy glanced back over his shoulder and beckoned her onwards, then disappeared into the darkness.’
    • ‘While he was standing behind a beam he glanced upward at the windows overhead.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They went back to their places mumbling and grumbling, but always taking quick glances our way.’
    • ‘The stranger looked very unsettled by this, and just glanced around helplessly for a moment.’
    • ‘I glanced to my left and saw the tears in my mother's eyes.’
    • ‘The old man glanced in her general direction before getting back to what he had been doing earlier.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Chloe then glanced down at her watch and noticed the time.’
    • ‘Her violet colored eyes blinked rapidly and she nervously glanced down at the clipboard.’
    • ‘She stood up cautiously, briefly glancing around to make sure that everything was as it should have been.’
    • ‘He glanced at his wristwatch, and decided it was time to move.’
    • ‘Scott, driving, continued to glance in the rearview mirror to watch them.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He was looking around anxiously, glancing up the stairs and towards the kitchen.’
    • ‘My mother smiled wisely, glancing upward briefly before turning her gaze to me.’
    take a quick look, look quickly, look briefly, peek, peep
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1glance at/through Read quickly or cursorily:
      ‘I glanced through your personnel file last night’
      • ‘A cursory glance through the sleeve notes gives the first clue.’
      • ‘I glanced through it quickly and stored it in my backpack.’
      • ‘Having this in your wallet will allow you to quickly glance at it before parting with your money.’
      • ‘Just a cursory glance at the brochure gives an idea of the immense undertaking this is.’
      • ‘I enjoy this because, as any cursory glance through my journals will attest, I use squashy, amorphous ampersands with abandon when I'm writing for no one but myself.’
      • ‘I haven't read the book or even taken a cursory glance through its pages, so I'm not in any position to pass judgement on it specifically.’
      • ‘I watched Ellie glance through her menu, and then notice me looking at her and smiled.’
      • ‘I've glanced through the resolutions being debated quickly and, among the highlights.’
      • ‘A cursory glance through the Yellow Pages reveals that these creatures have multiplied in excess of the ability of the ecosystem to support them.’
      • ‘An hour later he glances through the newspapers, checks his email while sparing a few minutes for phone calls.’
      • ‘He sighed softly and set the drink down on the table next to him to quickly glance through the mail.’
      • ‘But even the most cursory of glances at The Canterbury Tales will convince you that this is hardly new.’
      • ‘A cursory glance through the annals of history will prove this beyond doubt.’
      • ‘Even the most cursory glance through the voluminous correspondence they generated reveals that the duty was performed conscientiously.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A cursory glance through her books reveals that she is no scientist.’
      • ‘I haven't read it, but glancing through it, there are some pretty objectionable statements.’
      read quickly, scan, have a quick look, run one's eye over
      View synonyms
  • 2Hit something at an angle and bounce off obliquely:

    ‘the stone glanced off a crag and hit Tom on the head’
    • ‘Instead, they glance off walls at 200 mph, looking showroom fresh.’
    • ‘As a matter of fact, the ball glanced off my father's arm before being swallowed up by the crowd.’
    • ‘The bullets came down at such an angle that they hit the side of the bathtub and glanced off, and then tore through the other side.’
    • ‘Smaller, lighter swords used at close distance would glance off suits of armor.’
    • ‘She laughs uncontrollably, trying to hit me and fight back, but her blows glance off.’
    • ‘An arrow glanced off her helmet, but the angle was too slanted to do anything more than a slight irritation.’
    • ‘The bullet glanced off the bear's skull, enraging rather than disabling the target.’
    • ‘With a last ditch effort, he managed to shove the ball up so that it glanced off his hands and away from him.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This one too fell just short of the target and glanced off a large rock.’
    • ‘Before I could take two steps a fist glanced off the side of my head leaving me stunned.’
    • ‘But the ball glanced off the top of the wall and quickly was retrieved.’
    • ‘One shot hit the post and another glanced off the bar as the goalie stopped it.’
    • ‘The sword glanced off its arm, making the beast gasp, staggering it to one knee.’
    • ‘First, the axes glance off the tree, the wood is so hard to cut.’
    ricochet, rebound, be deflected
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    1. 2.1 (of light) reflect off something with a brief flash:
      ‘sunlight glanced off the curved body of a dolphin’
      • ‘A ray of sunlight glanced off the walls of the castle on the shores of Edinample, lighting up its whiteness against the surrounding trees.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Sunlight glances off the water and shatters against the glass.’
      • ‘The gentle rays glanced over his blond locks, turning them into glistening sliver and gold.’
      • ‘The sun sent rays glancing off their smooth surfaces, which cascaded colors throughout the beautiful city.’
      • ‘For instance, a light hit might glance off an opponent's armor, while a stronger or critical hit will stagger your enemy.’
      • ‘It bathed his black-clad figure with eerie, blood-colored light that glanced off the silver circlet binding his black hair.’
      • ‘Shards of sunlight glanced off the remains of windows, reminding me of my mother.’
      • ‘It glances off Quinn's blade and reflects onto the wall in front of Danny.’
      • ‘I walk out into the open, where Josh can see me clearly, with the moonlight glancing off my sleek fur coat.’
      • ‘The moon glanced off of the young woman's long, white-blonde hair, making it glow with ghostly light.’
      • ‘He turned to his right and squinted, just barely catch the sunlight glancing off her night-black hair.’
      • ‘The Chinooks are closest and I can see the moonlight glancing off their huge, drooping 30 ft rotor blades.’
      • ‘The light spilling from the windows glanced off his hair, making it look like white gold.’
      reflect, flash, gleam, glint, glitter, glisten, glimmer, shimmer, flicker, sparkle, twinkle
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2[with object and adverbial of direction] (in ball games) deflect (the ball) slightly with a delicate contact:
      ‘he glanced the ball into the corner of the net’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘That free kick was precisely judged and the blond mane of the skipper flashed at the ball to glance it securely home.’
      • ‘With a fine header of the ball, he demonstrated his ability by rising highest to glance the ball past Brown.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He met the free kick with his head and glanced the ball into the net.’
    3. 2.3Cricket [with object] Deflect (the ball) with the bat held slantwise; play such a stroke against (the bowler):
      ‘Simpson glanced Statham's fourth ball’
      • ‘Shuffled across his stumps to glance, but the ball brushed leg stump to give him his fifth wicket.’
      • ‘Eventually he did get to three figures, glancing King to the fine-leg fence.’

noun

  • 1A brief or hurried look:

    ‘I stole a glance at John’
    • ‘Feeling slightly awkward, she threw a puzzled glance over her shoulder.’
    • ‘A glance at his watch told him that it was way past dinner time.’
    • ‘Just before I rounded the corner I spared the house one last glance in my rear view mirror.’
    • ‘The briefest of glances in her direction found her to be still looking at me, still silent.’
    • ‘Two cops walk in; one takes a cursory glance at the menu and orders a French dip.’
    • ‘John stole a quick glance over his shoulder.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Feeling very frustrated I snuck a glance at my clock, 1: 26.’
    • ‘Without a word or a glance around the room he sat down by himself.’
    • ‘She took a glance back at the girls, who all paid close attention.’
    • ‘I waited for a few girls to come down the stairs, smiled distractedly at their approving glances, and then hurried upstairs.’
    • ‘People are distracted, throwing furtive glances over their shoulders.’
    • ‘She smiles, even before turning to him, and then casts a sidelong glance in his direction.’
    • ‘Her eyes were vacant, and the three newcomers exchanged questioning glances.’
    • ‘Rachel gave herself a last glance in the mirror before she left for the party.’
    • ‘There were no shrieks of protest; just a sidelong, questioning glance.’
    • ‘A tentative glance around the room assured her she wouldn't be noticed.’
    • ‘I kept shooting nervous glances at the clock.’
    • ‘A closer glance told me it was Angelo.’
    • ‘Avery cast a long, sideways glance in his direction and glared at him.’
    peek, peep, brief look, quick look
    View synonyms
  • 2archaic A flash or gleam of light:

    ‘fish … sporting with quick glance, Show to the Sun their wav'd coats’
    flash, gleam, glitter, glint, glimmer, shimmer, flicker, sparkle, twinkle
    View synonyms
  • 3Cricket
    A stroke with the bat's face turned slantwise to deflect the ball slightly.

    • ‘The short boundaries looked even smaller with his glances, off-drives and swings through midwicket.’
    • ‘He was a strong left-handed batsman who scored all around the wicket, but had a preference to square cuts, hooks and deft leg glances.’

Phrases

  • at a glance

    • Immediately upon looking:

      ‘she saw at a glance what had happened’
      • ‘Yet I want all the stories to be right there, at a glance, preferably with the author's name and a title for the story.’
      • ‘It'll be a way of showing - at a glance - what I have learned, experienced and discovered over this past year.’
      • ‘Even experts can't tell if they are real or fake at a glance.’
      • ‘Divide the number of calls by the number of operators, and you could see at a glance how ‘efficiently’ your centre was operating.’
      • ‘When late blight is first identified in an area, the information is entered on a map so that the location and date of the outbreak is obvious at a glance.’
      • ‘The applications tell you at a glance which of your colleagues are available at any one time and exchanging information becomes an effortless breeze.’
      • ‘Overground buses serving each of the major routes in and around Leeds are colour coded so passengers can tell at a glance exactly where a bus is travelling.’
      • ‘To conclude, one of the so-called benefits of adopting the euro has always been that prices can be compared across frontiers 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.’
      • ‘Hang them on a pegboard so that you can see at a glance what you have.’
  • at first glance

    • When seen or considered briefly and for the first time:

      ‘good news, at first glance, for frequent travellers’
      • ‘A grotesque formation vase catches the attention of guests at first glance.’
      • ‘It looked very tough at first glance but when I worked out what they were looking for, I settled down.’
      • ‘This seems to offer little guidance at first glance, however some common ground is starting to emerge.’
      • ‘Some hotels, for example, can, at first glance, still seem locked in the 1950s.’
      • ‘What may seem odd and unstructured at first glance, he insists, will soon seem fun and spontaneous.’
      • ‘Her clever collage and striking photographs are, at first glance, simple and beautiful.’
      • ‘Maybe he was older than he looked at first glance in the dark, and possibly drunk?’
      • ‘This difference, which seems subtle at first glance, is actually quite dramatic.’
      • ‘As would be expected, however, there is much more going on within the picture than is apparent at first glance.’
      • ‘But it is not the huge caricature the townies would take it for at first glance.’
      on the face of it, on the surface, at first sight, to the casual eye, to all appearances, to go by appearances, to judge by appearances
      apparently, seemingly, outwardly, superficially, as far as one can see, as far as one can tell, by all accounts, so it seems, to all intents and purposes
      View synonyms
  • glance one's eye

    • archaic Look briefly:

      ‘he had glanced his eye over all the folios of my copy’
      • ‘‘Indeed, your example is an unfortunate one for your argument,’ said Holmes, taking the paper and glancing his eye down it.’
      • ‘When I landed on the hard ground I murmured at the mean treatment of the sheep, and, glancing my eye upward, saw him looking at me from the roof of the house.’
      • ‘Initially, I had glanced my eye over the weight-loss plan and dismissed it as a passing fad - and, more importantly, a grossly unhealthy one.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But the momentary apprehension was dispelled by hope and valour; and every man, says the marshal of Champagne, glanced his eye on the sword or lance which he must speedily use in the glorious conflict.’

Origin

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.

Pronunciation:

glance

/ɡlɑːns/

Main definitions of glance in English

: glance1glance2

glance2

noun

  • [mass noun] A shiny black or grey sulphide ore of lead, copper, or other metal:

    ‘lead glance’
    • ‘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.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation:

glance

/ɡlɑːns/