September 18, 2012
glimmer (noun)
\GLIM-er\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 a : a feeble or unsteady light b : a soft shimmer2 : a faint idea : inkling
How do you use it?
"The late sun's brilliance could penetrate only in scattered glimmers, and everything was silent and untouched, the ground muffled with moss and sliding needles, the graceful arms of the pines stretched out protectively in every direction." (Natalie Babbitt, _Tuck Everlasting_)
Are you a word wiz?

"Glimmer" has another meaning we haven't mentioned yet. Which of the following do you think it is?

Perhaps sense 2 gave you a glimmer of what to look for in our mystery meaning. The "faint idea" meaning gave rise to the more general "small amount" meaning very quickly; both developed in the mid-late 1800s. Today's Buzzword is much older than that, though. The first meaning of the noun "glimmer"—"a feeble or unsteady light"—dates to the late 1500s. Even older than that, though, is the verb "glimmer," meaning "to shine faintly or unsteadily." That "glimmer" has been around since the 1400s.
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