1. striking obliquely and bouncing off at an angle: a glancing blow.
  2. brief and indirect: glancing references to his dubious past.

verb (used without object), glanced, glanc·ing.

  1. to look quickly or briefly.
  2. to gleam or flash: a silver brooch glancing in the sunlight.
  3. to strike a surface or object obliquely, especially so as to bounce off at an angle (often followed by off): The arrow glanced off his shield.
  4. to allude briefly to a topic or subject in passing (usually followed by at).

verb (used with object), glanced, glanc·ing. Archaic.

  1. to cast a glance or brief look at; catch a glimpse of.
  2. to cast or reflect, as a gleam.
  3. to throw, hit, kick, shoot, etc. (something) so that it glances off a surface or object.


  1. a quick or brief look.
  2. a gleam or flash of light, especially reflected light.
  3. a deflected movement or course; an oblique rebound.
  4. a passing reference or allusion; insinuation.
  5. Digital Technology. information on an electronic screen that can be understood quickly or at a glance: Get news and weather glances on your phone. Tap anywhere on a glance to open the app.
  6. Cricket. a stroke in which the batsman deflects the ball with the bat, as to leg.


  1. (intr) to look hastily or briefly
  2. (intr; foll by over, through, etc) to look over brieflyto glance through a report
  3. (intr) to reflect, glint, or gleamthe sun glanced on the water
  4. (intr usually foll by off) to depart (from an object struck) at an oblique anglethe arrow glanced off the tree
  5. (tr) to strike at an oblique anglethe arrow glanced the tree


  1. a hasty or brief look; peep
  2. at a glance from one’s first look; immediately
  3. a flash or glint of light; gleam
  4. the act or an instance of an object glancing or glancing off another
  5. a brief allusion or reference
  6. cricket a stroke in which the ball is deflected off the bat to the leg side; glide


  1. any mineral having a metallic lustre, esp a simple sulphidecopper glance

c.1500, “sudden movement producing a flash,” from glance (v.). Meaning “brief or hurried look” is from 1590s.


mid-15c., of weapons, from glacen “to graze, strike a glancing blow” (c.1300), from Old French glacier “to slip, make slippery,” from glace “ice” (see glacial). Sense of “look quickly” (first recorded 1580s) probably was influenced in form and meaning by Middle English glenten “look askance” (see glint). Related: Glanced; glancing.

see at first blush (glance).

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