- a very brief, passing look, sight, or view.
- a momentary or slight appearance.
- a vague idea; inkling.
- Archaic. a gleam, as of light.
verb (used with object), glimpsed, glimps·ing.
- to catch or take a glimpse of.
verb (used without object), glimpsed, glimps·ing.
- to look briefly; glance (usually followed by at).
- Archaic. to come into view; appear faintly.
- a brief or incomplete viewto catch a glimpse of the sea
- a vague indicationhe had a glimpse of what the lecturer meant
- archaic a glimmer of light
- (tr) to catch sight of briefly or momentarily
- (intr usually foll by at) mainly US to look (at) briefly or cursorily; glance (at)
- (intr) archaic to shine faintly; glimmer
c.1400, “to glisten, be dazzling,” probably from Old English *glimsian “shine faintly,” from Proto-Germanic *glim- (see ). If so, the intrusive -p- would be there to ease pronunciation. Sense of “catch a quick view” first recorded mid-15c. Related: Glimpsed. The noun is recorded from mid-16c.; earlier in verbal noun glimpsing (mid-14c.).