Definition of shine in English:



  • 1(of the sun or another source of light) give out a bright light.

    ‘the sun shone through the window’
    • ‘Early morning sun shone in the east windows, bringing warm light into the already sunny kitchen.’
    • ‘The darkened rooms on the south and west side are all aglow with moon shine.’
    • ‘The sun shone very bright through the big window by the table.’
    • ‘Outside the bright sun shines in through the open window catching the white of her skirt.’
    • ‘For me, it made the sun shine as perhaps it never has before.’
    • ‘Feeling a bit lighter of mood today, and the sun is shining bright which helps a lot.’
    • ‘You could play the song and the sun would shine out into the windows even if it was raining.’
    • ‘We watched the moon shine over the water and the stars coming out to fill the sky.’
    • ‘Mr Pike, whose mother was from Burnley, said when he was growing up he thought the sun did not shine in the town because of the pollution spewed out by the cotton factories.’
    • ‘The sun was shining brightly through her window, slicing the darkness of her room with its sharp rays.’
    • ‘A bolt of lightening hit in a very large building, then the clouds disappeared and the sun shone bright again.’
    • ‘Numerous candelabra protruded from the walls at regular intervals; these were unlit and the sun did not shine in the windows.’
    • ‘The sun shone surprisingly bright through the canopy of the trees to the floor of the autumn forest.’
    • ‘Mercury sets an hour after sunset on the 28th and shines at magnitude - 1.3.’
    • ‘When we arrived in Cape Town the sun was shining down and the people were warm and welcoming.’
    • ‘I am woken this morning by the sun shining into my window at six.’
    • ‘The sun was shining bright, and we had all of the windows open, allowing a nice breeze to fill the truck.’
    • ‘Outside the sun shone bright through the clouds, Anna fanned herself with her hand as she sat on the bed beside Victoria.’
    • ‘Everything was bright; the sun shone serenely, birds sang, and clouds drifted across the perfect blue sky.’
    • ‘The sun was shining bright though this lunchtime, so I set off up Sauchihall street with my camera with the intention of taking many photos of things that took my fancy.’
    emit light, give off light, beam, radiate, gleam, glow, glint, glimmer, sparkle, twinkle, flicker, glitter, glisten, shimmer, flash, dazzle, flare, glare, fluoresce
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    1. 1.1Glow or be bright with reflected light.
      ‘she brushed her hair until it shone’
      • ‘The blue water was shining from the light from the silver, full moon.’
      • ‘Her flaxen hair shone in the dying light, creating a shimmering halo around her head and shoulders.’
      • ‘The tiny colored tiles that outlined most of the symbols shone with the reflected light from the torches.’
      • ‘The moon shone bright and silver light showered through the clear pane.’
      • ‘When he smiled, his white square teeth shone, reflecting bright sparks of light.’
      • ‘Elle answered the door, her bright blonde hair shining in the hall light.’
      • ‘The wind sculpts them into dramatic shapes; the ice refracts the light and the carvings shine bright, butterfly-wing neon blue from the inside.’
      • ‘His hair shone in the light as he brushed it away from his face.’
      • ‘Her pale skin shone with reflected light, contrasting with her clothing which was all black.’
      • ‘The sea shone with reflected afternoon light, sending a few small waves questing up onto the sand.’
      • ‘It sparkled and shone in the light that came from it, throwing rainbows all around.’
      • ‘Avoid wearing shiny watches or jewellery that shines or reflects light.’
      • ‘His soft, straight hair shone in the dim glow from the outside light.’
      • ‘It was nothing special; a small glassy sphere that shone in the flickering light.’
      • ‘A warm breeze blew through her hair causing it to shine in the light.’
      • ‘He picked up his comb and began untangling his blonde hair, until it shone in the light and stood in place.’
      • ‘In the golden light, he glowed and shone like the child in an icon.’
      • ‘More powerful then any weapon shining and glowing in the dim light of the laboratory.’
      • ‘A tall guy stood at the front door, his sandy brown hair shining in the light.’
      • ‘Nick's blond hair shone in the light, and his big blue eyes were magnified by his glasses.’
      gleaming, bright, illuminated, lit, lighted, ablaze, brilliant, lustrous, glowing, glinting, sparkling, coruscating, twinkling, flickering, glittering, glistening, shimmering, flashing, dazzling, glaring, luminous, luminescent, incandescent, phosphorescent, fluorescent
      shiny, bright, polished, burnished, gleaming, glossy, glassy, satiny, sheeny, lustrous, smooth
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    2. 1.2(of a person's eyes) be bright with emotion.
      ‘his eyes shone with excitement’
      • ‘He bore always unhappiness in his heart, and his eyes shone with determination behind his spectacles.’
      • ‘His hazel eyes shone with mirth as he looked at her and at that instant, the little girl had made up her mind that her hero was the bestest person in the universe.’
      • ‘Her eyes shone with bright adoration and what seemed to be respect.’
      • ‘Her eyes shone with long-forgotten memories of a much happier time.’
      • ‘His eyes shone with an eagerness and joy that he didn't try to hide.’
      • ‘In response he laughed heartily and his eyes shone with amusement.’
      • ‘When she didn't move, he smirked and his green eyes shone with mirth.’
      • ‘My mother's eyes shone with anger and she raised a hand up to strike me.’
      • ‘Mary noted that William laughed a great deal, and that Clara's eyes shone with the lively merriment.’
      • ‘Her blue eyes shone with happiness that only she could comprehend.’
      • ‘Her eyes shone with wisdom and determination that comes with age.’
      • ‘They couldn't tell what color his hair was under the hood of the robe, but his blue eyes shone with intelligence and calm.’
      • ‘Her bright, vibrant eyes shone with gratitude as her steadfast gaze met Kynan's.’
      • ‘Her eyes shone with life, and when she smiled, her face widened to become round, lovely, and dimpled.’
      • ‘Her eyes shone with delight as she discovered a teddy, a soft dog, pens and sweets.’
      • ‘Her hair was unruly and sticking out at all ends and though she was nearing the end of her life her eyes shone with youth and liveliness.’
      • ‘His bright, blue eyes shone with joy as he played, and he laughed aloud.’
      • ‘This girl was so glum, her face seemed so void of emotions, yet her eyes clearly shone with immense sadness.’
      • ‘Behind her, Jenny stood meekly and her eyes shone with sympathy.’
      • ‘The head turned, and Ed's blue eyes shone with surprise at his visitor.’
      glowing, beaming, radiant, blooming, healthy, happy
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    3. 1.3[with object and adverbial of direction]Direct (a torch or other light) somewhere in order to see something in the dark.
      ‘he shone the torch around the room before entering’
      • ‘I went inside and shone the torch in the carrier bag.’
      • ‘Slowly I shone the torch around the perimeter of our camp.’
      • ‘One of her achievements as a writer was to shine light into the dark places.’
      • ‘She pulled out a small torch and shone the light into Collette's eyes.’
      • ‘A woman with a torch shone the light onto the water, following along the guardrail on-board, trying to spot a body.’
      • ‘It looks like you've just seen a horror movie and your mates shone a torch in your face and took the photo.’
      • ‘However when the officer shone his torch over the side of the bridge he saw Claire further along the ledge.’
      • ‘He came face to face with a man who shone a torch in his face.’
      • ‘If you have ever shone a torch onto the back of your hand, you will know that your palm glows red.’
      • ‘I shone my torch in a sweep below me where I had last seen her.’
      • ‘Stand outside the closed door on a dark night and shine a flashlight all around the edges of the door.’
      • ‘Josh was just about to say something when someone shone a torch at us.’
      • ‘I thought it was one of the calves but when I shone my torch on it I saw that it was the double wheels of a tractor.’
      • ‘Guards on the ground shone a torch in the man's face and eventually persuaded him to come down.’
      • ‘Inside the many crevices, eyes glimmered back at me as I shone my torch.’
      • ‘I went to the carport and shone the torch between the carport bars aiming the beam under the car.’
      • ‘A stage hand shone another torch at his microphone stand, and the show continued by torchlight.’
      • ‘One of my guests had heard a noise in the living room and shone her torch and scared off the thieves right into the arms of the police.’
      • ‘John went in first, slowly, shining a torch light ahead of him.’
      • ‘Seconds later, a Garda shone his torch and we found them lying on the green area.’
  • 2Be very talented or perform very well.

    ‘a boy who shone at nothing’
    • ‘He has gone from talented youngster with a few tricks up his sleeve to a quality all-round midfielder who has shone at the highest level.’
    • ‘At school she shone at English, but was pretty useless at everything else - her words, not mine.’
    • ‘I opened my laptop and showed her shining example after shining example of similarly awful dialogue.’
    • ‘The stars failed to sparkle but Bangalore found its own son shining brilliantly on Sunday morning.’
    • ‘I figure that I owe it to the little people to help lead them out of the fashion darkness by setting such a bright, shining example for them to follow.’
    • ‘He was a brilliant scholar - shining in English, Math, Science, theatre, what have you.’
    • ‘All of this is inspired by the resolute Texan's shining example.’
    • ‘He was the son of a servant of the Crown from a well-heeled South of England background, who shone at prep school but proved something of an academic flop later on.’
    • ‘Democracy shines at its resplendent best in periods of the deepest darkness.’
    • ‘Regarded as one of the most talented players in history, he shone at Manchester United, where he was top scorer for six consecutive seasons.’
    • ‘Both coaches are shining examples of how one can excel in tennis not by their social stature, but at the grass roots level with determination and passion.’
    • ‘He dropped out of university to embark on a card-playing and gambling career, quickly shone at it, and has been doing it ever since.’
    • ‘Vivaldi the red priest was an expert violinist but unlikely to have shone at the bassoon, as he was severely asthmatic.’
    • ‘It's frightening to think that they, or any similar shining example of private enterprise, might have any role in the health service.’
    • ‘It stole our chance to take the big steps on the world stage that would have coloured us with brilliance and we could have sat there shining for the world to see.’
    • ‘But too much could be tough to take - he was such an upbeat, shining example.’
    • ‘He distinguished himself in Normandy's wars with its neighbours prior to 1066, and also shone at Hastings.’
    • ‘For us, it's about seeing who's good at talking to strangers, who shines at networking, and who has good presentation skills.’
    • ‘His versatility is a huge asset having covered every defensive position in his short career, though he shines at centre-half.’
    paragon, model, epitome, archetype, ideal, exemplar, nonpareil, paradigm, embodiment, personification, quintessence, standard, prototype, apotheosis, the crème de la crème, the beau idéal, acme, jewel, gem, flower, angel, treasure, an outstanding example, a perfect example of its kind
    one in a million, the bee's knees, something else, the tops
    a nonesuch
    excel, be outstanding, be brilliant, be excellent, be very good, be successful, be expert, stand out, be pre-eminent
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  • 3[with object] Make (an object made of leather, metal, or wood) bright by rubbing it; polish.

    ‘his shoes were shined to perfection’
    • ‘The only thing they can do for me is buy my records and shine my shoes.’
    • ‘His shoes were shined to perfection and his dark, just about black, hair had been combed tidily.’
    • ‘The outlaws were out and about, patching up their camp, shining swords, chopping wood… but nowhere did Laoise see Maeve.’
    • ‘He didn't have to brush his hair if he didn't want to, or shine his shoes.’
    • ‘It's a reprieve, a second chance to show you alone were the reason for your band's success, and that one day they'll be shining your shoes.’
    • ‘I knew who he was because he shines shoes at a hotel close to my house and we had spoken before.’
    • ‘They had to clean, haul trash, launder, cook, shine shoes, and porter, and take the meanest wages for harsh, demeaning work.’
    • ‘To shine patent leather, moisten a soft cloth with white vinegar and wipe clean all patent leather articles.’
    • ‘Get a fresh haircut, trim your fingernails, and shine your shoes if needed.’
    • ‘Starting to win friends and influencing people should include shining your shines, or stopping by someone who shines shoes for a living.’
    • ‘But shining / polishing your shoes will make the leather last longer and look better.’
    • ‘I've watched some of them tip the locker-room attendant, the guy who shines their shoes all week long, as little as $20.’
    • ‘Doesn't it make you ashamed, as you shine his shoes and fetch his laundry, to work with such a man.’
    • ‘If some angel appears to me and tells me I will spend eternity in heaven shining his shoes, I will weep with gratitude.’
    • ‘Their teachers will tell them that they cannot be made to shine the family's shoes or cannot be made to help dad at the garage - as I was.’
    • ‘Someone sitting near me was shining his shoes to such a degree he could see his face on them.’
    • ‘The walls were sheathed with finely shined wood, and plain white carpeting lined the floors.’
    • ‘Rise early and shine your shoes with a get down baby dance like there's no today because tomorrow is the cut-out birthday crown made for the king.’
    • ‘You really are a welcome sight, but I have disappointment in you, because you didn't shine my shoes, shoe shiner.’
    • ‘He and his brother really did shine shoes after school to help support the family.’
    polish, burnish, buff, wax, gloss, brighten, brush, smooth, rub up
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  • 1[in singular] A quality of brightness produced when light is reflected on something.

    ‘my hair has lost its shine’
    • ‘The shine had vanished from the bright afternoon, and he had a feeling, deep down in his gut, that something somewhere was very wrong.’
    • ‘Her hair had gorgeous body and a glossy shine was brushed lightly upon her hair.’
    • ‘Lara hums a soft tune to herself as she combed her hair until it glistened with a shine.’
    • ‘The waters were sparkling against the shine of the moon and the sparkling lights of the city created a glazy layer on the surface.’
    • ‘Essentially, the larva is able to orient itself using the shine from a moonlit night.’
    • ‘Her hair glistened with a lustrous shine and held them in a trance.’
    • ‘Taking time to look at himself in the reflective shine of the warhead, Seven's circuits crackled with anticipation.’
    • ‘Apply the shine serum or spray of choice to the palms of your hands.’
    • ‘He responds with a luminous shine and a mirthful grin.’
    • ‘As quickly as they had appeared, the colors vanished, leaving only the bright shine of silver.’
    • ‘These scratches disturb the flat surface of the stone and light reflection ceases to be uniform so the shine gradually disappears.’
    • ‘Scott came around behind him, obviously seeing the shine in my eyes.’
    • ‘He shook his head, the firelight reflecting off the shine of his bare torso.’
    • ‘Paige had put lavender coloring on my eyelids and added a glittery shine on my lips.’
    • ‘A dab of petroleum jelly rubbed into patent leather gives a glistening shine and prevents cracking in the winter.’
    • ‘Also, the dried husk of the coconut is sometimes used as a brush to put a glimmering shine on wooden or ceramic floors.’
    • ‘It was a 1996 Mustang GT coated in the shine of a bright, electric blue.’
    • ‘All the shine and glitter from jewelry will not go out of fashion for a long time.’
    • ‘It was translucent with a diamond-like shine to it, illuminating what lied within.’
    • ‘The lovely shine on heavy horses that used to trot around the village pulling carts loaded with sacks of coal for daily delivery to local houses from Oakshotts' coal yard near the station.’
    • ‘The cars glow with an incredible shine especially in multi-toned paint jobs.’
    light, brightness, gleam, glow, glint, glimmer, sparkle, twinkle, flicker, glitter, glisten, shimmer, flash, dazzle, beam, flare, glare, radiance, illumination, luminescence, luminosity, incandescence, phosphorescence, fluorescence
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    1. 1.1An act of rubbing something to give it a shiny surface.
      ‘Archie's shoes got a quick shine from a boy with a cloth’
      • ‘A vinyl or polyurethane finish has been applied on the surface to keep a shine without waxing; the urethane is more durable.’
      • ‘The visa applicants hover nervously in their best clothes as shoe shine boys run eagerly around.’
      • ‘The songs may be old-fashioned hard rock, but the producer has polished them to a bright shine.’
      • ‘However if he could have found a shoe shine boy he would have quite happily shelled out for a quick shine.’
      • ‘The shoe shine is becoming a lost art, sadly.’
      • ‘Basically hailing from Calicut, their job is to procure old gramophones and, after giving them a shine, sell them for an attractive amount.’
      • ‘He works as a shoe shine boy from 2 p.m. until sometimes 3 a.m in the morning.’
      • ‘He was also scornful of the use of varnish, which is a quick way for artists to make the surface shine and also to protect it.’
      • ‘The day I was there, the beautician started by cleaning the natural nail to remove the surface shine and oils and then applied disinfectant and primer.’
      • ‘The leather and the wood surfacing on the dashboard shine like skin in the sun.’
      • ‘He thanked them gratefully and said, ‘Can I get a quick shine then, since I'm here already?’’
      • ‘Rub cuticle oil into your cuticles and onto your nails for instant shine.’


  • take the shine off

    • Spoil the brilliance or excitement of.

      ‘these concerns are taking the shine off Britain's economic recovery’
      • ‘However, exceptional and extraordinary charges will take the shine off the above-the-line figures.’
      • ‘A larger memory card and simpler phone dialling would have been nice, but that doesn't take the shine off this five-star performer.’
      • ‘She goes on, ‘The moment you take away the dowry, you take the shine off the ceremony.’’
      • ‘However you look at it, it takes the shine off all those positive press releases boasting how she keeps playing to full houses in Las Vegas, doesn't it?’
      • ‘Having an off year doesn't take the shine off the job for you?’
      • ‘But, disappointing as that decision was, Rovers shouldn't let it take the shine off what was an otherwise fantastic night.’
      • ‘But it caused her a major headache at an already difficult time, and to be greeted by a damp, cold flat took the shine off her move.’
      • ‘But that will only slightly take the shine off this victory.’
      • ‘Even that defeat could not take the shine off what has been an amazing year for this remarkable young man.’
      • ‘But the absence of these key players is taking the shine off the Rugby World Cup, it's making it less of a contest than it otherwise would have been.’
      ruin, wreck, destroy, upset, undo, mess up, make a mess of, dash, sabotage, scupper, scotch, torpedo, blast, vitiate
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  • take a shine to

    • informal Develop a liking for.

      ‘Bill's taken quite a shine to her’
      • ‘Taylor had always played guitar himself and was soon on stage with the more established musicians who took a shine to him.’
      • ‘He was born in a New York ghetto and seemed on the road to a life of gangs when three Canadians took a shine to him and decided to bring him back to Toronto.’
      • ‘One manatee took a shine to me and wouldn't leave my end of the canoe, nuzzling up to me and trying to touch my hand.’
      • ‘Mum wasn't wanting to supply such a thing naturally but she had been wondering how to wean Graham off his dummy which he still took a shine to.’
      • ‘He took a shine to the boss's daughter, Jennifer, and threatened to join the French Foreign Legion if she wouldn't marry him.’
      • ‘The parents took a shine to each other straight away and it was impossible to separate them because they were so much in love.’
      • ‘She has brought her medals to the table and it is the Olympic ones it is impossible not to take a shine to.’
      • ‘He became a volunteer in 1979 and took a shine to the diminutive station.’
      • ‘But the master of the house, Mr English, was the kindest man, and he took a shine to me.’
      • ‘Phil said: ‘I took a shine to Liz straight away but didn't fancy my chances.’’

Phrasal Verbs

  • shine through

    • (of a good quality or skill) be clearly evident.

      ‘at Murrayfield his talent shone through’
      • ‘His dedication to the reasons for making music at all shine through clearly both on record and in his spirited live performances.’
      • ‘His evident sincerity and resolve shone through once again; he is his own best weapon.’
      • ‘As soon as they hit the stage, the star quality shines through loud and clear.’
      • ‘But once you get that sorted, the underlying strength of the brand and the quality of the product shines through.’
      • ‘His knowledge of football in general is second to none and his never-ending research in days prior to matchdays clearly shines through.’
      • ‘The media and governments may hound us, but quality will always shine through.’
      • ‘Her love of the English language was always evident and shone through her many and varied readings.’
      • ‘Worked hard and his skill shone through but caused few problems for their defence.’
      • ‘Not as exotic as some might like, but the quality shone through.’
      • ‘The food was mainly pretty good and the quality of the ingredients shone through, even where the combinations worked less well for us.’


Old English scīnan, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch schijnen and German scheinen.