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

 

glisten

 verb
verb
BrE BrE//ˈɡlɪsn//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈɡlɪsn//
 
[intransitive]Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they glisten
BrE BrE//ˈɡlɪsn//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈɡlɪsn//
 
he / she / it glistens
BrE BrE//ˈɡlɪsnz//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈɡlɪsnz//
 
past simple glistened
BrE BrE//ˈɡlɪsnd//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈɡlɪsnd//
 
past participle glistened
BrE BrE//ˈɡlɪsnd//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈɡlɪsnd//
 
-ing form glistening
BrE BrE//ˈɡlɪsnɪŋ//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈɡlɪsnɪŋ//
 
 
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  • (of something wet) to shine Her eyes were glistening with tears. Sweat glistened on his forehead. + adj. The road glistened wet after the rain. 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
  • Word Origin Old English glisnian, of Germanic origin; related to Middle Low German glisen. The noun dates from the mid 19th cent.Idioms
    all that glitters/glistens is not gold
     
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    (saying) not everything that seems good, attractive, etc. is actually good, etc.
    See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: glisten