Definition of glitter in English:



  • 1 Shine with a bright, shimmering, reflected light.

    ‘trees and grass glittered with dew’
    • ‘The polished hull glittered in the sunlight, and its enormous sails fluttered proudly.’
    • ‘She smiled back at the male, her own eyes glittering in the morning sunlight.’
    • ‘The first thing she saw were stars, glittering like diamonds against the blackness.’
    • ‘The small piece of gold glittered brightly in the moonlight, setting off the red ruby it encircled.’
    • ‘From there, Liz could see the gold wedding band glittering slightly in the candlelight.’
    • ‘Medals hung from above the breast pocket, glittering coldly in the lamplight.’
    • ‘Her shoulder-length jet-black hair glittered in the sunlight as did her blue-gray eyes.’
    • ‘His gold Chain of Office glittered cruelly in the morning sunshine.’
    • ‘A few stars glittered coldly in the rifts between the clouds.’
    • ‘Her engagement ring glittered on her ring finger, a symbol of the promise she'd made.’
    • ‘Above their heads glittered a crystal chandelier the size of most people's kitchen tables, laced with gold.’
    • ‘The waves lapped gently at the beach, glittering gently in the mid-afternoon sun.’
    • ‘Christopher lifted her hand, the ring glittering in the light.’
    • ‘The palace was constructed of a hard opaque crystal, as well as marble and stone, and it seemed to glitter in the light of the morning sun.’
    • ‘The camera dips into a flowing stream, glittering in the sunshine.’
    • ‘Stars glittered like diamonds thrown randomly into the sky, landing in a pattern of perfection.’
    • ‘I feel disturbed at the thought, and in the end, account it to the array of bright lights glittering in the darkness.’
    • ‘She held up her hand and her ring glittered in the light.’
    • ‘The sky outside the Sanctuary was a rich, deep blue; several pinpoints of stars glittered softly.’
    • ‘A beautiful silver necklace decorated her throat, and a small silver tiara glittered in her hair.’
    shine, sparkle, twinkle, glint, gleam, shimmer, glimmer, flicker, blink, wink, catch the light, flash, spangle
    scintillate, coruscate, fulgurate, effulge, luminesce, incandesce, phosphoresce
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    1. 1.1Shine as a result of strong feeling.
      ‘her eyes were glittering with excitement’
      • ‘‘Your fear of the human body is very funny,’ remarked the demon, her face and eyes glittering with mirth.’
      • ‘Her cheeks are flushed with anger and her eyes glitter dangerously.’
      • ‘Than a wicked smile distorted her features and her eyes glittered with malice, ‘my hair needs to be done if someone is to come calling.’’
      • ‘His emerald eyes glittered maliciously around at everyone.’
      • ‘He pressed her, hoping to get an answer as his eyes glittered with anticipation.’
      • ‘She exclaimed in a hushed voice, but her eyes glittered with excitement.’
      • ‘His dark, beady eyes glittered with genuine excitement.’
      • ‘Little sister flushed, and her eyes glittered angrily, but she said nothing, refusing to jettison the trip on such petty provocation.’
      • ‘His face was noble and his eyes glittered keenly with curiosity.’
      • ‘Leanne looked immensely interested, and her eyes glittered with excitement.’
      • ‘She suddenly stopped, her eyes still glittering brightly with an emotion he could unmask all too well.’
      • ‘Her eyes glittered with excitement as she gazed at her surroundings for what seemed to be the thousandth time.’
      • ‘Natalie smiled as his eyes glittered in amusement.’
      • ‘She stood up to meet him, her eyes glittering with barely suppressed anger.’
      • ‘Sara's eyes glittered dangerously in the firelight and I knew I was in trouble now.’
      • ‘‘Oh, Nathaniel,’ she smiled softly, her weak eyes glittering with love for the man.’
      • ‘His eyes were glittering with anger, and it scared me.’
      • ‘She blinked once in surprise, and then her brow lowered and her dark eyes glittered with rage.’


  • 1Bright, shimmering, reflected light.

    ‘the blue glitter of the sea’
    • ‘My first cat, Jimmy, loved to lie under the tree and gently bat one particular ornament back and forth between his paws to watch the glitter shimmer on its blue surface.’
    • ‘It is dark, apart from the glitter of icons and the lights in front of the iconostasis.’
    • ‘A stretch of water caught the light with a metallic glitter.’
    • ‘Suddenly a glitter of light from the far end of the cavern caught her gaze, Darren thought it was a way out but as he and Jenny got closer, it wasn't.’
    • ‘Artistically ripped jeans hung gracefully around his gently jutting hips, his bright t-shirts bringing out the glitter of his eyes.’
    • ‘Suddenly a small glitter of light on the ground caught her eye.’
    • ‘The dagger spun away in a glitter of moonlight on metal to clatter on riverbed rock.’
    • ‘The alley was pitch black except for the reflected glitter of the water on the walls.’
    • ‘He flipped it into the air, watching the flash and glitter of the light on the blade.’
    • ‘A head was peering out at him from around the end of one of the rows, long shiny hair, a glitter of eyes reflecting the light on the table.’
    • ‘He looked at her with eyes as bright as the glitter of dust on armor, and she shifted, suddenly uncomfortable.’
    • ‘He bit, and there was an outright flash of anger at that: ears flattening and a glitter of teeth in the firelight.’
    • ‘His eyes were catching moonlight coming in through the back doors, throwing a glitter just beside the pupils.’
    • ‘When the group had hit ground, there was a faint glitter of light in the distance.’
    • ‘The sun's rays kiss the body of the mountains as the frosts on the grass melts and the dew drops on the flower sparkle like a diamond to the glitter of light.’
    sparkle, twinkle, glint, gleam, shimmer, glimmer, flicker, blink, flash
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    1. 1.1A glint in a person's eye indicating a particular emotion.
      ‘the scathing glitter in his eyes’
      • ‘There was a heartbroken look on his face and no glitter in his bright, blue eyes.’
      • ‘Confused, I blinked open an eye and found one of our lab buddies staring down at me with an amused glitter in his bright blue eyes.’
      • ‘A new glitter lit her eyes, though he didn't see it, as the band began to play a slow waltz.’
      • ‘When she did, he saw the nameless glitter in her eyes.’
      • ‘Emily pouted, yet I could see the glitter in her eyes.’
      • ‘I saw both relief and grief glitter in his light blue eyes.’
      • ‘His hand caressed the hilt of his dagger, and a dangerous glitter, like chips of cruel ice, flickered in his usually mild eyes.’
      • ‘I could see the glitter in his eyes and the smirk that was about to come on any minute.’
  • 2Tiny pieces of sparkling material used for decoration.

    ‘sneakers trimmed with sequins and glitter’
    • ‘These creations, which feature a sparkling surface into which glitter is compressed and then sealed, represent a fusion of contemporary and kitsch.’
    • ‘It smells softly of rose and contains tiny pieces of fairy glitter designed to sparkle subtly - guaranteed to make you look like the cat's miaow.’
    • ‘Sticking so much glitter to any piece of bare flesh available, this manages to turn its wearer into a human snowball.’
    • ‘Slowly the spices changed a few subtle colors, and then started to sparkle like flying glitter.’
    • ‘It sparkled like glitter, and then disappeared.’
    • ‘It was a midnight-blue gown, dusted with sparkly purple glitter.’
    • ‘It was purple and dusted with glitter and sparkles that seemed to pass for stars.’
    • ‘Once upstairs, she found a wooden door marked with an A4 piece of cartridge paper, decorated with glitter and sequins and spelling out her first name in finger-painted letters.’
    • ‘The final effect was rubbing a glue stick randomly on the snow and sprinkling it with silver glitter for that sparkly look that snow sometimes has.’
    • ‘Perhaps you can even decorate them with glitter or other sparking elements.’
    • ‘The gold, satin curtains, decorated with glitter, were tied back making them sparkle in the sunlight streaming through the crystal clear windows.’
    • ‘The body of it was silver and white, with sparkly glitter.’
    • ‘It had a tint of glitter, and it sparkled with every turn.’
    • ‘The card was wrapped in a purple envelope that was sprayed with some kind of perfume and decorated heavily with glitter.’
    • ‘There was a bachelor party earlier on the evening, which resulted in a fair number of guys having tiny lavender glitter sticking to their faces.’
    • ‘Shake it up and you get sparkly glitter on your skin.’
    • ‘Her dress was red, and long, the top part of her dress resembled a halter and the straps had sparkling glitter on it.’
    • ‘Every speck of glitter is a tiny mirror reflecting the observer.’
    • ‘Although the heel is low for comfort, the ivory shoes are decorated with glitter and pearls for beauty.’
    • ‘Just tiny little sparkles of glitter on it that makes it so pretty.’
  • 3An attractive and exciting but superficial quality.

    ‘he avoids the glitter of show business’
    • ‘I don't really like all the diamonds and glitter of showbusiness.’
    • ‘The physical world has abundant glitter, but emptiness lies beneath its superficial shine.’
    • ‘‘Glitz, glitter and glam add an element of fun to ageing and should be something to anticipate with excitement not something to dread,’ said Annie.’
    • ‘The more complex question is why some sports performers have that factor X which adds glitter to quality and makes a mere player into a personality.’
    • ‘Today's more tech-experienced teachers are also more able to see beyond a presentation's extra glitter to the quality of learning within.’
    • ‘I think the whole concept of highlighting the servicing character of a hospital stems from an over-preoccupation with superficial glitter.’
    • ‘Most magic shows these days are elaborately planned and executed events that feature well-choreographed dances that add glitter and glamour to the programme.’
    • ‘With less than four weeks remaining until December 25, the pressure is on to put the glitz, glitter, and shine into our homes.’
    • ‘With their gloss and glitter and the glamour surrounding them, they provide nothing but a pretty spectacle for the viewer.’
    • ‘There's glitter and glamour and spectacle in monarchy.’
    • ‘But in my book, beauty without smiles and charm means very little in an industry overrun by glitz and glitter.’
    • ‘But within all of that smoke, glitter and corporate razzle dazzle, I feel like I'm loosing my edge and creativity.’
    • ‘For that alone, it had attracted my attention, but he'd even added some glitter.’
    • ‘Many of his ideas were repolished notions from the past, set out attractively for an audience attracted as much by their glitter as their substance.’
    • ‘The glitter and the silver are more than superficial accoutrements; if there's substance to be found here, it's in the veneer.’
    • ‘It brought harsh reality to the doorsteps of those listening to him, indeed it was a far cry from the ephemeral glitter and dazzle of the tinsel world in which they had been engrossed till then.’
    glamour, excitement, thrills, attractions, appeal
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  • all that glitters is not gold

    • proverb The attractive external appearance of something is not a reliable indication of its true nature.

      • ‘He is still young and the opportunities might look lucrative, but he should be reminded that all that glitters is not gold.’
      • ‘It may be fake because all that glitters is not gold.’
      • ‘Some of the actions of the party administration are beginning to show that all that glitters is not gold.’
      • ‘But in show business, all that glitters is not gold.’
      • ‘Celluloid dreams, heroes and heroines, get real with compassionate message, as who else know best that all that glitters is not gold.’
      • ‘Yet, in many cases, all that glitters is not gold.’
      • ‘But all that glitters is not gold and even as the models flash the latest trends, scratch the surface and ‘the glamour, gloss and glaze’ is replaced by hard-core business and hard work.’


Late Middle English: from Old Norse glitra.