Definition of shimmer in English:



  • Shine with a soft, slightly wavering light.

    ‘the sea shimmered in the sunlight’
    ‘shimmering candlelight’
    • ‘She finally looked at me, tears shimmering in her dark orbs.’
    • ‘Each day the heat haze shimmered in the distance, distorting the path of the road.’
    • ‘The red shell necklace hung down between her breasts, shimmering in the sun.’
    • ‘The stars and moons were shimmering gold, and the background color was navy.’
    • ‘His mom turned to him with her questioning dark eyes; her brown hair shimmering in the sunlight.’
    • ‘Sara's heart rent as she looked into her friend's eyes, wide with fear, shimmering with tears.’
    • ‘She reached out and grasped the silk, gasping as it unfurled into a thin cloak, shimmering softly.’
    • ‘The golden sand shimmered in the heat, and the small whitewashed huts were calm and peaceful.’
    • ‘A giant flame shimmered brightly in the moonlight.’
    • ‘Here one sees grazing camels, a skeletal countryside of abandoned walled towns, dunes, and shimmering mirages.’
    • ‘Brown and beautiful, her eyes shimmered in the light of the house.’
    • ‘Taken at sun set, the crystal white beach shimmered in the evening sun.’
    • ‘In the distance shimmer classic mirages of non-existent lakes.’
    • ‘The silver leaves shimmered in the moonlight that found its way through the trees.’
    • ‘His green eyes seemed to shimmer for a moment, as he waited for my answer.’
    • ‘Her world shimmered in the heat and went out of focus.’
    • ‘The girls silver eyes shimmered brightly against the light, as if wanting to be noticed.’
    • ‘Heat vegetable oil in a hot wok until the surface seems to shimmer slightly.’
    • ‘Dave sat regally in a large armchair, his hair shimmering in the delicate light.’
    • ‘The long silver blades shot out from the openings in the forearms, the blades shimmered in the sunlight.’
    • ‘The bridge is faint, shimmering slightly, as though it were a mirage.’
    • ‘There was the small outline of a vessel shimmering on the horizon.’
    • ‘An idyllic vision of green water and blue pine trees shimmers in the distance.’
    • ‘His eyes shimmered in the low light and he yawned and curled his purple striped tail around his cat body.’
    glint, glisten, flicker, twinkle, sparkle, flash, scintillate, flare, glare, gleam, glow, glimmer, glitter, dance, blink, wink
    coruscate, fulgurate
    View synonyms


  • [in singular] A soft, slightly wavering light.

    ‘a pale shimmer of moonlight’
    • ‘The trouble is, like all rainbows, there is no depth to the shimmer, and when the light is removed, all pretence at glitter is gone.’
    • ‘He could see the light shimmer of unshed tears in her eyes and he hated himself for doing this but yet he couldn't stop.’
    • ‘Her body emerged from the darkness like a shimmer of light playing across a velvet curtain.’
    • ‘The glint becomes a shimmer until I see what looks like a large fish hovering below the surface of the water.’
    • ‘This led to them passing the notes around the room, and finally, a shimmer of light was in the light bulb.’
    • ‘She stopped and turned, eyes flashing with a titanium shimmer.’
    • ‘A shimmer of light lit up a small radius of snow and left a red and brown wolf with radiant green eyes.’
    • ‘A faint shimmer of amethyst light showed subtle sorcery at work.’
    • ‘It landed in the water with a splash, the only trace left of it the drops of water sparkling and a faint shimmer on the surface of the water.’
    • ‘Her hair was darker and had more auburn in it that is use to, and her eyes had a shimmer of pale green in them.’
    • ‘I could see the excitement in Charlie's eyes as he saw the shimmer of light dancing on my Kitana blade.’
    • ‘She looked around for a light switch when a shimmer of reflected light appeared in front of her.’
    • ‘The sheets of rain that cascaded down past his window made the light shimmer.’
    • ‘This innovative glitter brush is easy to apply and leaves a great shimmer and sparkle on your skin.’
    • ‘She looked up, her eyes catching a light from somewhere and flashing a spectrum shimmer.’
    • ‘Each shade will enhance your lipstick colour with a shimmer.’
    • ‘I found that the water was only up to my knees and as it drained away, the body's molecular structure decomposed leaving behind it a silvery shimmer of light.’
    • ‘Her skin had taken on a translucent shimmer, skin even paler than before.’
    • ‘A white figure approached so slender as to be mistaken for a shimmer of light upon first glance.’
    • ‘He looked down into the hollow tree and noticed that there was a small shimmer of light at the end.’
    glint, glistening, flicker, twinkle, sparkle, flash, scintillation, flare, glare, gleam, glow, glimmer, lustre, glitter, dancing, blinking, winking
    coruscation, fulguration
    View synonyms


Late Old English scymrian, of Germanic origin; related to German schimmern, also to shine. The noun dates from the early 19th century.