Definition of gleam verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

     

    gleam

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//ɡliːm//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɡliːm//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they gleam
    BrE BrE//ɡliːm//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɡliːm//
     
    he / she / it gleams
    BrE BrE//ɡliːmz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɡliːmz//
     
    past simple gleamed
    BrE BrE//ɡliːmd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɡliːmd//
     
    past participle gleamed
    BrE BrE//ɡliːmd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɡliːmd//
     
    -ing form gleaming
    BrE BrE//ˈɡliːmɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈɡliːmɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 1[intransitive] to shine with a pale clear light The moonlight gleamed on the water. Her eyes gleamed in the dark. Synonymsshinegleam glow sparkle glisten shimmer glitter twinkle glintThese words all mean to produce or reflect light.shine to produce or reflect light, especially brightly:The sun was shining and the sky was blue.gleam to shine with a clear bright or pale light, especially a reflected light:Moonlight gleamed on the water.glow (often of something hot or warm) to produce a dull steady light:The end of his cigarette glowed red.sparkle to shine brightly with small flashes of light:The diamonds sparkled in the light.glisten (of something wet) to shine:The road glistened wet after the rain.shimmer to shine with a soft light that seems to shake slightly:Everything seemed to shimmer in the heat.glitter to shine brightly with small flashes of reflected light:The ceiling of the cathedral glittered with gold.sparkle or glitter?There is very little difference in meaning between these two words. Glitter can sometimes suggest a lack of depth, but this is more frequent in the figurative use of glitter as a noun:the superficial glitter of show business. Sparkle is also often used to talk about light reflected off a surface, but things that produce light can also sparkle:Stars sparkled in the sky.twinkle to shine with a light that changes rapidly from bright to faint to bright again:Stars twinkled in the sky.glint to give small bright flashes of reflected light:The blade of the knife glinted in the darkness.Patterns to shine/​gleam/​sparkle/​glisten/​shimmer/​glitter/​glint on something to shine/​gleam/​glow/​sparkle/​glisten/​shimmer/​glitter/​twinkle/​glint with something to shine/​gleam/​sparkle/​glisten/​shimmer/​glitter/​glint in the sunlight to shine/​gleam/​glisten/​shimmer/​glitter/​glint in the moonlight the stars shine/​sparkle/​glitter/​twinkle somebody’s eyes shine/​gleam/​glow/​sparkle/​glisten/​glitter/​twinkle/​glint to shine/​gleam/​glow/​glitter brightly to shine/​gleam/​glow/​shimmer softly
  2. 2[intransitive] to look very clean or bright gleam (with something) The house was gleaming with fresh white paint. + adj. Her teeth gleamed white against the tanned skin of her face.
  3. 3[intransitive] if a person’s eyes gleam with a particular emotion, or an emotion gleams in a person’s eyes, the person shows that emotion gleam (with something) His eyes gleamed with amusement. gleam (in something) Amusement gleamed in his eyes.
  4. Word Origin Old English glǣm ‘brilliant light’, of Germanic origin.Extra examples The knife’s blade gleamed dully in the dark. The long oak table gleamed with polish. The pebble beach gleamed white in the moonlight. A light gleamed faintly from a first floor window. Laughter gleamed in his eyes. Moonlight gleamed on the water. The evening light gleamed softly through the window.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: gleam

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