Definition of glance noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//ɡlɑːns//
; NAmE NAmE//ɡlæns//
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  • glance (at somebody/something) a quick look to take/have a glance at the newspaper headlines a cursory/brief/casual/furtive glance The sisters exchanged glances (= looked at each other). She shot him a sideways glance. He walked away without a backward glance. She stole a glance (= looked secretly) at her watch. Synonymslookglance gaze stare glimpse glareThese are all words for an act of looking, when you turn your eyes in a particular direction.look an act of looking at somebody/​something:Here, have a look at this.glance a quick look:She stole a glance at her watch.gaze a long steady look at somebody/​something:She felt embarrassed under his steady gaze.stare a long look at somebody/​something, especially in a way that is unfriendly or that shows surprise:She gave the officer a blank stare and shrugged her shoulders.glimpse a look at somebody/​something for a very short time, when you do not see the person or thing completely:He caught a glimpse of her in the crowd.glare a long angry look at somebody/​something:She fixed her questioner with a hostile glare.Patterns a look/​glance at somebody/​something a penetrating/​piercing look/​glance/​gaze/​stare a long look/​glance/​stare a brief look/​glance/​glimpse to have/​get/​take a look/​glance/​glimpse to avoid somebody’s glance/​gaze/​stare
  • Word Originlate Middle English (in the sense ‘rebound obliquely’): probably a nasalized form of obsolete glace in the same sense, from Old French glacier ‘to slip’, from glace ‘ice’, based on Latin glacies.Extra examples After a cursory glance at the report he frowned. At first glance the contract seemed to be fine. He gave her a mocking glance. He ignored my glance of disapproval. He kept throwing nervous glances over his shoulder. He left without a backward glance. He stole a sidelong glance at the young woman sitting next to him on the train. Her glance flickered briefly across to the group standing at the other side of the street. His glance fell on a pile of papers at one side of the desk. I caught the teacher’s glance and nearly burst into nervous laughter. I had a quick glance at the article, but I haven’t read it yet. Meena threw him an angry glance. She cast a sidelong glance at Fern. She took one last glance in the mirror and then left. The couple exchanged meaningful glances but said nothing. The man walked slowly along, casting furtive glances behind him. The software allows you to see at a glance what fonts you have on the computer. Their car attracted admiring glances wherever they went. Their glances met, then they both looked away. They exchanged knowing glances. With a quick glance at the time, she stood up and prepared to leave. He could tell what was wrong at a glance. I caught his glance and nearly burst into laughter. I had a glance at the newspaper headlines as I waited at the counter. She shot him a sideways glance. She stole a glance at her watch. The boss gave the figures a cursory glance and nodded. The sisters exchanged glances.Idioms when you first look at or think about something, often rather quickly At first glance the problem seemed easy. immediately; with only a quick look He could tell at a glance what was wrong.
    See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: glance