Definition of glaucous in US English:



technical, literary
  • 1Of a dull grayish-green or blue color.

    • ‘Friedrich's ‘Landscape with a View of Mt Milleschauer’, possibly unfinished, is a desolate near-abstract without figures or even more than notional vegetation, in five dismal glaucous shades.’
    • ‘Conversely, sorrow that was smothered in guilt tended to be a sort of glaucous hue.’
    • ‘Of numerous theories, the most accepted was that it was a hybrid between the hyacinth and glaucous macaws.’
    • ‘And, even if the eerily atmospheric music is a trifle intrusive, the design recreates the glaucous strangeness of the fjords.’
    • ‘To contrast and complement this, Helleborus argutifolius with its glaucous grey-green leaves would make a good frontage.’
    greenish, viridescent
    View synonyms
  • 2Covered with a powdery bloom like that on grapes.

    • ‘Observations on glossy and glaucous plants show that the predators are more active, cover more of the plant surface, and fall less from the reduced EW Brassica and Pisurn.’
    • ‘With its prostate growth habit, the ground-hugging stems of this form are clothed in glaucous foliage.’
    • ‘While glaucous types had surfaces with dense networks of rods and filaments, the EW of glossy phenotypes had less dense vestures of filaments, rods, angular and irregular plates, polygons and globules.’
    • ‘It is a compact bush, with dark-coloured foliage, and produces small berries having a glaucous bloom.’
    • ‘A distinctive identifying and ornamental characteristic of this species is the blue-white glaucous coating laid down on the young branches.’


Late 17th century: via Latin from Greek glaukos + -ous.