Definition of glass in English:



  • 1[mass noun] A hard, brittle substance, typically transparent or translucent, made by fusing sand with soda and lime and cooling rapidly. It is used to make windows, drinking containers, and other articles.

    ‘the screen is made from glass’
    [as modifier] ‘a glass door’
    • ‘Soda is one of the most common ores of sodium found in nature and it was used very early in human history to make glass.’
    • ‘The metal used was a soft soda lime glass, which in inclined to pitting and will give a misleading impression of age.’
    • ‘The police had expressed concerns about the amount of glass used in the building and its location near a road that could leave it vulnerable to a car bomb.’
    • ‘Hard materials tend to be very brittle, take glass for instance.’
    • ‘Verify that the sliding glass door and all windows are locked and secure.’
    • ‘Interior windows and glass in doors allow maximum daylight but were sandblasted for privacy.’
    • ‘Once the milk has cooled, pour it into glass containers and refrigerate immediately.’
    • ‘I press my nose against the cool glass of the lobby door, and shade my eyes so I can see past the glare.’
    • ‘For anyone who does not know, glass is a hard, transparent or translucent brittle material that does not dissolve is not flammable.’
    • ‘As the amount of glass used in a house increases, the energy efficiency usually decreases.’
    • ‘But in this case, the noise was kept down by balancing the amount of glass with drywall.’
    • ‘The amount of glass recycled so far amounts to almost ten per cent of the waste produced by local households.’
    • ‘Marsh samphire, as noted above, is also known as glasswort from its former use in soda glass manufacture.’
    • ‘Drinks from plastic containers always taste different than those from glass containers.’
    • ‘The pub's big windows and glass door make it easy to see anyone in the street.’
    • ‘Also there was a long wooden table with benches on either side of it and a tall wooden cupboard with glass windows in the doors.’
    • ‘Householders across the district are being urged to take part in a major scheme to boost the amount of glass and cans recycled in Bradford.’
    • ‘Around 600 car parking spaces are planned for the store, which has been designed using a large amount of glass fronting.’
    • ‘Silica is one of the basic materials of sand and it forms glass when it fuses.’
    • ‘I closed my eyes and leaned against the cool glass window, feeling sick.’
    1. 1.1A substance similar to glass which has solidified from a molten state without crystallizing.
      ‘the black volcanic glass makes the beaches sparkle’
      • ‘A glass is a substance that is non-crystalline yet almost completely undeformable.’
      • ‘They offer chemically inert fluid paths of Teflon, Kel-F, and borosilicate glass.’
      • ‘Trehalose may also stabilise tissues by trapping them in an immobile sugar glass.’
      • ‘He suspects thieves may be responsible but he cannot understand what use they would have with the perspex glass.’
    2. 1.2Glassware.
      ‘we sell china and glass’
      • ‘In addition, vinegar can be used to remove price labels from glass, wood, and china.’
      • ‘Also up for grabs are china, glass and pottery by leading names Wedgwood, Foley, Staffordshire.’
      • ‘It sells ceramics, glass, silver, paper and pretty much anything that takes her fancy.’
      • ‘Their caravan is warm and homely, with glass and china neatly displayed.’
      • ‘There will also be antique glass, china, furniture and metalware on display.’
      • ‘Not just for the traditionalist either; some of the modern china and glass designs are stunning.’
      • ‘Lesser items, such as old magazines, inexpensive glass and china ware, may just sit in boxes.’
      • ‘His hard work paid off when the antiques company sold him its entire collection of glass.’
      • ‘The firm sells high quality china, glass and collectables.’
      • ‘Books went well, as did glass and china ware on the White Elephant stall.’
      • ‘Somehow, it seemed that one of their salesmen was selling far more glass than any of the other members of the sales force.’
      • ‘He said his father, a china and glass merchant, was not particularly pleased when he announced he wanted to be an actor.’
      • ‘Some composites such as precious opal protected between layers of quartz or glass are sold as such.’
      glassware, crystal, crystalware
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3Greenhouses or cold frames considered collectively.
      ‘lettuces grown under glass’
      • ‘Genetically engineer algae or other plant species to grow well under lunar conditions under filtered glass.’
      • ‘Keep pots in a sunny position but watch that leaves of plants under glass don't get sunburned.’
      • ‘Under glass you also need to reduce the amount of watering you do and increase the heat a little.’
      • ‘Flowers for shows earlier in the year are grown under glass at his address in Thorpe Audlin, Pontefract, but for Chelsea he had them growing in a tunnel.’
      • ‘The variety is even grown under glass in climates as inimical as the Dutch and British to provide grapes for the fruit bowl.’
      • ‘The plants grown under glass were exposed to short treatments with supplementary UV-B.’
  • 2A drinking container made from glass.

    ‘a beer glass’
    • ‘Other superstitions hold that by continuing to drink out of a glass after the toast is to dilute that toast.’
    • ‘In mitigation, he claimed he was so drunk he forgot the glass was in his hand.’
    • ‘We all lift our glasses and drink the wine down, afraid of what grandma will do if we don't follow through.’
    • ‘Sure, we will all eat from different dishes and drink from different glasses, but we will all be able to agree that the meal is delicious.’
    • ‘First of all, you should always be drinking quality beers out of a glass.’
    • ‘The writer was also extremely enthusiastic about the ‘good selection of wine and very large glasses to drink out of.’’
    • ‘It has an important collection of 18th century drinking glasses, a tranquil walled garden and a garden tearoom.’
    • ‘I still find it difficult to drink out of pint glasses at home.’
    • ‘No doubt a great deal of whisky is drunk in New York, but almost all of it, surely, is drunk from whiskey glasses?’
    • ‘You pour the wine in a glass, and you drink it as you consume your meal - no tricks, no secrets.’
    • ‘His picture decorates stickers, cigarette lighters, record sleeves, cups, beer glasses and so on - Che is omnipresent.’
    • ‘I am so used to using plastic cups everywhere that the drink glasses seemed unmanageably heavy and got very cold from the ice!’
    • ‘She called for pubs and bars to serve all bottled drinks in glasses, to discourage drinkers from leaving the premises with them.’
    • ‘Both parties must then drink until the glass is dry, whether it contains alcohol or not.’
    • ‘The same, I'm told, was true as to proposals that fast-food restaurants use glasses rather than paper cups.’
    • ‘I once saw a girl drinking beer from a pint glass with a straw.’
    1. 2.1The contents of a glass.
      ‘have a glass of wine’
      • ‘But there should have been chaise longues instead of seats; then we could lie back and enjoy the night with a nice glass of malt whisky to hand.’
      • ‘A book that makes you want to find an armchair and a glass of good Burgundy, this is a pacy, well researched history with plenty of human detail to leaven the science.’
      • ‘Price includes a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie.’
      • ‘You know, from this angle it looks suspiciously like a glass of coke…’
      • ‘I don't want a glass of wine right now, but what if I did?’
      • ‘I accompanied my meal with a glass of draught cider for £1.10.’
      • ‘If lunch up the mountain was good value (about £12 for a decent snack and a glass of wine), then dinner was even better.’
      • ‘Take 2 capsules with a large glass of room-temperature water at about 3pm.’
      • ‘Sit back, close your eyes, get some hummus and a glass of tinto de verano or mint tea, switch on the sun lamp and pretend you're anywhere but here - and warm.’
      • ‘Before that fateful day, my partner was content with a glass of orange juice in the morning.’
      • ‘Unravelling the small package he brought with him, he tipped its contents into a glass of water.’
      • ‘After a fix of chocolate, my energy levels would soon crash and burn and by supper-time I'd be wiped out again and desperate for a glass of wine.’
      • ‘The salad was slightly over-salted and consisted of peppers, olives, greens and tomatoes which we washed down with a glass of house white.’
      • ‘It's an hour's drive to my parent's house and I was eager to get home and pour myself a refreshing glass of Pineau de Charente, the local aperitif.’
      • ‘I'm certainly not going to try to say anything wise about a phenomenon that's at its most vivid after a supper of Roquefort, grapes and a glass of good port.’
      • ‘OK, so if I now have a glass of juice, then I've had three today.’
      • ‘Perhaps you should have a glass of wine more often.’
      • ‘They go down very nicely with a glass of red wine.’
  • 3A lens, or an optical instrument containing a lens or lenses, in particular a monocle or a magnifying lens.

    • ‘Feeling around inside he spots the glass lens of a video camera and pulls it out.’
    • ‘Pinhole photos look relatively sharp but nothing like the quality produced by a fine glass lens.’
    • ‘Etta was a very austere widow who wore a little glass lens on a chain around her neck and held it up to peer at Norm and I whenever she visited us.’
    • ‘An air bubble in water that is shaped like a normal glass lens would have roughly the opposite effect of the glass lens.’
    • ‘This allows you to scrutinize as much of the glass lens elements as possible.’
    • ‘Somewhere outside there was a street lamp, it was caught in the glass, repeated, magnified and diminished, countless times.’
    • ‘For shore watching 10 or 12 magnification glasses are better and a telescope on a tripod can be very useful.’
    • ‘A similarly shaped boundary for a glass lens in air was deduced by both Descartes and Huygens.’
  • 4British A mirror.

    ‘she couldn't wait to put the dress on and look in the glass’
    • ‘When he sat in front of the massive picture window that framed his easel, the glass mirrored his likeness under a mammoth magnolia tree.’
    mirror, looking glass
    View synonyms
    1. 4.1dated A weather glass.
    2. 4.2archaic An hourglass.
      ‘every hour the ship's glass was turned’


  • 1Cover or enclose with glass.

    ‘the inn has a long gallery, now glassed in’
    • ‘He followed her down a long hallway to a glassed in boardroom where two men stood waiting.’
    • ‘The room is nicely glassed off, so kids can have fun, stay put, and not bother the staid old newspaper readers like me.’
    • ‘Spend as little time at the airport as possible; avoid heavily glassed areas.’
    • ‘The restaurant is glassed in on two sides, having an elevated floor with computers, while on street level there is the dining area.’
    • ‘The restaurant is now fully air-conditioned, with the front section glassed in.’
    • ‘An internal fiberglass liner is glassed in place and provides much of the structural support and stiffening for the hull.’
    • ‘Exterior cast-in-place shored walkways surround the theaters and are protected with a cantilevered architectural concrete roof system, shaded and glassed in.’
    • ‘The carvery is situated in the ‘new’ section of the pub, adjacent to the bar area and has one glassed in section with the roast meats and the bain marie hot boxes for the vegetables and the soup.’
    • ‘Although the arrow slits in the walls are glassed in and electric bulbs take the place of candlelight, as you ascend the narrow, anti-clockwise staircase, the feeling of a different time is strong.’
    • ‘What was once the street is now the main lobby, which is glassed in so you can see its dome with original moulding and cornices.’
    • ‘These stations are in the main all glassed in, and spotlessly clean.’
    • ‘It has been glassed in and made into an attractive Visitors' Centre.’
    • ‘The balcony is glassed in, and features corporate boxes.’
    • ‘The concourses are glassed in and the station waiting area is quite large and also glassy.’
    • ‘This was the entrance to our front porch, which was all glassed in.’
    • ‘There are ancient rock carvings at the foot of a steep flight of steps; they are glassed over, but they prove worryingly hard to discern.’
  • 2(especially in hunting) scan (one's surroundings) with binoculars.

    ‘the first day was spent glassing the rolling hills’
    • ‘We reached the summit, hunkered below the skyline and began glassing the open swoops and dips of sagebrush terrain.’
    • ‘They were so large I thought at first they were bear tracks, and I spent the rest of the day anxiously glassing the cliffs above.’
    • ‘They stop and pass the binoculars back and forth, glassing the walls.’
    • ‘Opening morning found us perched near the top of some Georgia pines, freezing half to death, overlooking a small field where we had glassed a few good bucks during the summer.’
  • 3British informal Hit (someone) in the face with a beer glass.

    ‘he glassed the landlord because he'd been chatting to Jo’
    • ‘A couple of blokes tried to glass me in the face with a pint tumbler.’
    • ‘A further 20 stitches were added last May, when he was allegedly glassed by a man in an up-market Sydney club.’
    • ‘Paramedics helped save the life of a 17-year-old man who suffered serious head injuries after being glassed in the pub at midnight last night.’
    • ‘But when she was questioned later, she said she believed they were referring to the Friday night and not the Saturday night when her friend was glassed.’
    • ‘A consultation document published by the Department of Health said there are more than 5,000 glassing injuries every year.’
    • ‘A man who glassed a teenager in the face leaving him scarred for life faces being banned from every licensed premises in Bradford.’
    • ‘A woman was glassed in the face by a man while she out enjoying a drink with friends, it has been revealed.’
    • ‘A former public relations worker had to have stitches and specialist eye treatment after he was glassed in the face by a former friend a jury was told.’
    • ‘A mum left scarred for life after being glassed in the face today praised a judge for sending her attackers to prison.’
    • ‘He was convicted of glassing a man in 1991, and on Monday received a mandatory, new-style life sentence for a second offence of wounding with intent.’
    • ‘A city broker who glassed a colleague in an unprovoked attack has been jailed.’
    • ‘An electrical engineer has escaped a jail sentence for glassing a former friend in the face, but must pay him £750 compensation.’
    • ‘An illegal immigrant who glassed a man in a Chippenham nightclub has been remanded in custody by a judge at Swindon Crown Court.’
    • ‘A York man was recovering from facial surgery in hospital today after a woman allegedly glassed him during a bar room brawl.’
    • ‘If I see someone come in to Ron's bar carrying a copy of it I will glass them.’
    • ‘A 22-year-old woman alleged she had been glassed in the face on November 29 last year, leaving her with cuts and a broken nose.’
    • ‘At least one man will bear the scars of this season forever; he was glassed in a city pub.’
    • ‘When I realised I had been glassed, my immediate thought was, there's so much blood am I going to die?’


  • the glass is half-full (or half-empty)

    • Used to refer to an optimistic (or pessimistic) outlook on life.

      ‘she remains a person for whom the glass is always half-full, not half-empty’
      ‘I like to think of myself as a glass half-full kind of guy’
      • ‘I'm curious from the president's point of view whether the glass is half-empty or half-full.’
      • ‘It's possible to disagree over whether the glass is half-full or half-empty for black Americans.’
      • ‘They can choose the glass is half-empty story, the glass is half-full story or they can write a little of both.’
      • ‘The day is half-over, the week is half-over, the glass is half-full.’
      • ‘It all depends on whether you believe the glass is half-full or half-empty.’
      • ‘Optimists may say that the glass is half-full, pessimists that the glass is half-empty.’
      • ‘On the other hand, there is an argument that the glass is half-full.’
      • ‘When people ask if the glass is half-empty or half-full, my answer is: both.’
  • people (who live) in glass houses shouldn't throw stones

    • proverb You shouldn't criticize others when you have similar faults of your own.

      • ‘The shadow environment secretary said: ‘It's all very well criticising the failure of America to sign up to Kyoto, but people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.’
      • ‘Yes, it's an extremely derogatory term, and not one I would use myself, unless I'm angry of course, and even then I would feel uneasy (people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones).’
      • ‘One common test of abstraction is to explain what this means: ‘people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.’’
      • ‘So people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones, eh?’


Old English glæs, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch glas and German Glas.