Definition of shimmer in English:



  • Shine with a soft tremulous light.

    ‘the sea shimmered in the sunlight’
    • ‘The long silver blades shot out from the openings in the forearms, the blades shimmered in the sunlight.’
    • ‘An idyllic vision of green water and blue pine trees shimmers in the distance.’
    • ‘Heat vegetable oil in a hot wok until the surface seems to shimmer slightly.’
    • ‘The bridge is faint, shimmering slightly, as though it were a mirage.’
    • ‘Sara's heart rent as she looked into her friend's eyes, wide with fear, shimmering with tears.’
    • ‘His mom turned to him with her questioning dark eyes; her brown hair shimmering in the sunlight.’
    • ‘In the distance shimmer classic mirages of non-existent lakes.’
    • ‘She reached out and grasped the silk, gasping as it unfurled into a thin cloak, shimmering softly.’
    • ‘A giant flame shimmered brightly in the moonlight.’
    • ‘The girls silver eyes shimmered brightly against the light, as if wanting to be noticed.’
    • ‘Dave sat regally in a large armchair, his hair shimmering in the delicate light.’
    • ‘Each day the heat haze shimmered in the distance, distorting the path of the road.’
    • ‘Here one sees grazing camels, a skeletal countryside of abandoned walled towns, dunes, and shimmering mirages.’
    • ‘Her world shimmered in the heat and went out of focus.’
    • ‘The red shell necklace hung down between her breasts, shimmering in the sun.’
    • ‘Brown and beautiful, her eyes shimmered in the light of the house.’
    • ‘There was the small outline of a vessel shimmering on the horizon.’
    • ‘Taken at sun set, the crystal white beach shimmered in the evening sun.’
    • ‘His eyes shimmered in the low light and he yawned and curled his purple striped tail around his cat body.’
    • ‘The golden sand shimmered in the heat, and the small whitewashed huts were calm and peaceful.’
    • ‘She finally looked at me, tears shimmering in her dark orbs.’
    • ‘The stars and moons were shimmering gold, and the background color was navy.’
    • ‘His green eyes seemed to shimmer for a moment, as he waited for my answer.’
    • ‘The silver leaves shimmered in the moonlight that found its way through the trees.’
    glint, glisten, flicker, twinkle, sparkle, flash, scintillate, flare, glare, gleam, glow, glimmer, glitter, dance, blink, wink
    coruscate, fulgurate
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  • [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.’
    • ‘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 could see the light shimmer of unshed tears in her eyes and he hated himself for doing this but yet he couldn't stop.’
    • ‘Each shade will enhance your lipstick colour with a shimmer.’
    • ‘The sheets of rain that cascaded down past his window made the light shimmer.’
    • ‘A shimmer of light lit up a small radius of snow and left a red and brown wolf with radiant green eyes.’
    • ‘The glint becomes a shimmer until I see what looks like a large fish hovering below the surface of the water.’
    • ‘She stopped and turned, eyes flashing with a titanium shimmer.’
    • ‘This innovative glitter brush is easy to apply and leaves a great shimmer and sparkle on your skin.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She looked around for a light switch when a shimmer of reflected light appeared in front of her.’
    • ‘Her body emerged from the darkness like a shimmer of light playing across a velvet curtain.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A faint shimmer of amethyst light showed subtle sorcery at work.’
    • ‘I could see the excitement in Charlie's eyes as he saw the shimmer of light dancing on my Kitana blade.’
    • ‘He looked down into the hollow tree and noticed that there was a small shimmer of light at the end.’
    • ‘She looked up, her eyes catching a light from somewhere and flashing a spectrum shimmer.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This led to them passing the notes around the room, and finally, a shimmer of light was in the light bulb.’
    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.