verb (used without object), shone or shined, shin·ing.

  1. to give forth or glow with light; shed or cast light.
  2. to be bright with reflected light; glisten; sparkle.
  3. (of light) to appear brightly or strongly, especially uncomfortably so: Wear dark glasses so the sun won’t shine in your eyes.
  4. to be or appear unusually animated or bright, as the eyes or face.
  5. to appear with brightness or clearness, as feelings.
  6. to excel or be conspicuous: to shine in school.

verb (used with object), shone or shined, shin·ing.

  1. to cause to shine.
  2. to direct the light of (a lamp, mirror, etc.): Shine the flashlight on the steps so I can see.
  3. to put a gloss or polish on; polish (as shoes, silverware, etc.).


  1. radiance or brightness caused by emitted or reflected light.
  2. luster; polish.
  3. sunshine; fair weather.
  4. a polish or gloss given to shoes.
  5. an act or instance of polishing shoes.
  6. Informal. a foolish prank; caper.
  7. Slang: Extremely Disparaging and Offensive. a contemptuous term used to refer to a black person.

Verb Phrases past and past participle shone or shined; present participle shin·ing.

  1. shine up to, Informal.
    1. to attempt to impress (a person), especially in order to gain benefits for oneself.
    2. to become especially attentive to (one of the opposite sex): Men shine up to her like moths to a light.


  1. come rain or shine,
    1. regardless of the weather.
    2. no matter what the circumstances may be: Come rain or shine, he is always on the job.

    Also rain or shine.

  2. take a shine to, Informal. to take a liking or fancy to: That little girl has really taken a shine to you.

noun Slang.

  1. moonshine.

verb shines, shining or shone

  1. (intr) to emit light
  2. (intr) to glow or be bright with reflected light
  3. (tr) to direct the light of (a lamp, etc)he shone the torch in my eyes
  4. (tr; past tense and past participle shined) to cause to gleam by polishingto shine shoes
  5. (intr) to be conspicuously competent; excelshe shines at tennis
  6. (intr) to appear clearly; be conspicuousthe truth shone out of his words


  1. the state or quality of shining; sheen; lustre
  2. rain or shine or come rain or shine
    1. whatever the weather
    2. regardless of circumstances
  3. informal short for moonshine (def. 2)
  4. informal a liking or fancy (esp in the phrase take a shine to)

v.Old English scinan “shed light, be radiant, be resplendent, iluminate,” of persons, “be conspicuous” (class I strong verb; past tense scan, past participle scinen), from Proto-Germanic *skinan (cf. Old Saxon and Old High German skinan, Old Norse and Old Frisian skina, Dutch schijnen, German scheinen, Gothic skeinan “to shine, appear”), from PIE root *skai- (2) “to gleam, shine, flicker” (cf. Sanskrit chaya “brilliance, luster; shadow,” Greek skia “shade,” Old Church Slavonic sinati “to flash up, shine,” Albanian he “shadow”). Transitive meaning “to black (boots)” is from 1610s. Related: Shined (in the shoe polish sense), otherwise shone; shining. n.1520s, “brightness,” from shine (v.). Meaning “polish given to a pair of boots” is from 1871. Derogatory meaning “black person” is from 1908. Phrase to take a shine to “fancy” is American English slang from 1839, perhaps from shine up to “attempt to please as a suitor.” Shiner is from late 14c. as “something that shines;” sense of “black eye” first recorded 1904. In addition to the idiom beginning with shine

  • shine up to
  • also see:

  • make hay while the sun shines
  • rain or shine
  • rise and shine
  • take a fancy (shine) to
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