What’s the difference between glinted, glittered, glistened, gleamed, and glimmered?

They all mean to shine and they all start with g. But do they mean the same thing?

Acording to “Google Dictionary” (the one that appears when you search on Google).

glint: give out or reflect small flashes of light.

glitter: shine with a bright, shimmering, reflected light.

glisten: (of something wet or greasy) shine; glitter.

gleamed: shine brightly, esp. with reflected light.

glimmered: shine faintly with a wavering light.

Example sentence:

The city lights […] at the distance like an ocean of stars.

Do all the verbs above fit the sentence? Or it would mean a different thing depending on which one I choose?


Essentially, glint, glitter, and glimmer differ in the duration and pattern of the light. Glint would be a brief flash (eg the flash of a shiny stone as he light changes), glitter would be flashes coming from all across the object in a steady but random sequence (eg diamond or the shiny dressing on a Christmas tree), glimmer is a steady shine from all over the object(eg a gold). Glisten and gleam have a slightly different quality to he light: glisten a wet, watery look, gleam is highly polished. Thus the glint from a ring would help you find it, a jewel would glitter, a polished gold or silver cup would glimmer, dew at dawn would glisten and a new car would gleam.

Source : Link , Question Author : janoChen , Answer Author : Lewis

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