gloss (n.1) Look up gloss at
"glistening smoothness, luster," 1530s, probably from Scandinavian (compare Icelandic glossi "flame," related to glossa "to flame"), or obsolete Dutch gloos "a glowing," from Middle High German glos; probably ultimately from the same source as English glow (v.). Superficial lustrous smoothness due to the nature of the material (unlike polish, which is artificial).
gloss (n.2) Look up gloss at
"word inserted as an explanation, translation, or definition," c. 1300, glose (modern form from 1540s; earlier also gloze), from Late Latin glossa "obsolete or foreign word," one that requires explanation; later extended to the explanation itself, from Greek glossa (Ionic), glotta (Attic) "language, a tongue; word of mouth, hearsay," also "obscure or foreign word, language," also "mouthpiece," literally "the tongue" (as the organ of speech), from PIE *glogh- "thorn, point, that which is projected" (source also of Old Church Slavonic glogu "thorn," Greek glokhis "barb of an arrow").

Glosses were common in the Middle Ages, usually rendering Hebrew, Greek, or Latin words into vernacular Germanic, Celtic, or Romanic. Originally written between the lines, later in the margins. By early 14c. in a bad sense, "deceitful explanation, commentary that disguises or shifts meaning." This sense probably has been colored by gloss (n.1). Both glossology (1716) and glottology (1841) have been used in the sense "science of language."
gloss (v.) Look up gloss at
c. 1300, glosen "use fair words; speak smoothly, cajole, flatter;" late 14c. as "comment on (a text), insert a word as an explanation, interpret," from Medieval Latin glossare and Old French gloser, from Late Latin glossa (see gloss (n.2)). Modern spelling from 16c.; formerly also gloze.

The other verb, meaning "to add luster, make smooth and shining," is from 1650s, from gloss (n.1). Figurative sense of "smooth over, hide" is from 1729, mostly from the first verb, in its extended sense of "explain away, veil or shift the meaning of," but showing influence of the second. Related: Glossed; glossing.
glossalgia (n.) Look up glossalgia at
"pain in the tongue," 1847, medical Latin, from glosso- "tongue" + -algia "pain." Greek glossalgia meant only "talking till one's tongue aches."
glossary (n.) Look up glossary at
"collected explanations of words (especially those not in ordinary use), a book of glosses," mid-14c., from Latin glossarium "collection of glosses," from Greek glossarion, diminutive of glossa "obsolete or foreign word" (see gloss (n.2)). Related: Glossarial.
glossator (n.) Look up glossator at
"writer of glosses," late 14c., from Medieval Latin glossator, from Latin glossa (see gloss (n.2)). Also in same sense were glosser (c. 1600), glossographer (c. 1600), glossist (1640s), glossarist (1774), glossographist (1774).
glosso- Look up glosso- at
before vowels gloss-, word-forming element meaning "tongue," from Greek glosso-, used as a comb. form of glossa (Attic glotta) "tongue" (see gloss (n.2)). Also sometimes meaning "gloss, word inserted as explanation," as in glossography "the writing of glosses."
glossocomium (n.) Look up glossocomium at
in medical use, "case for a broken limb," 1670s, from Latinized form of Greek glossocomion "small case for holding the reed of a wind instrument," from glossa "mouthpiece," literally "tongue" (see gloss (n.2)).
glossolalia (n.) Look up glossolalia at
"gift of tongues, speaking in tongues, ability to speak foreign languages without having learned them," 1857 (earlier in German and Italian), from Greek glossa "tongue, language" (see gloss (n.2)) + lalia "talk, prattle, a speaking," from lalein "to speak, prattle," echoic.
glossy (adj.) Look up glossy at
"smooth and shining," 1550s, from gloss (n.1) + -y (2). Figurative use from 1690s. The noun sense of "photograph with a glossy surface" is from 1931. Related: Glossies; glossiness.
glottal (adj.) Look up glottal at
1846, "pertaining to or formed by the glottis;" see glottis + -al (1). Glossal is attested from 1860.
glottis (n.) Look up glottis at
"mouth of the windpipe, opening at the top of the larynx," 1570s, from Greek glottis "mouthpiece of a pipe," from glotta, Attic dialect variant of glossa "tongue" (see gloss (n.2)).
glotto- Look up glotto- at
word-forming element meaning "language," from Attic Greek glotto-, from glotta, variant of glossa "tongue; language" (see gloss (n.2)).
glottochronology (n.) Look up glottochronology at
1953, from glotto- + chronology.
Gloucester Look up Gloucester at
English county, Old English Gleawceaster, from Latin Coloniae Glev (2c.), from Glevo, a Celtic name meaning "bright place" (perhaps influenced by Old English gleaw "wise, prudent") + Old English ceaster "Roman town" (see Chester). In reference to a type of cheese by 1802.
glove (n.) Look up glove at
Old English glof "glove, covering for the hand having separate sheaths for the fingers," also "palm of the hand," from Proto-Germanic *galofo "covering for the hand" (cognates: Old Norse glofi), probably from *ga- collective prefix + *lofi "hand" (cognates: Old Norse lofi, Middle English love, Gothic lofa "flat of the hand"), from PIE *lep- (2) "be flat; palm, sole, shoulder blade" (cognates: Russian lopata "shovel;" Lithuanian lopa "claw," lopeta "shovel, spade").

German Handschuh, the usual word for "glove," literally "hand-shoe" (Old High German hantscuoh; also Danish and Swedish hantsche) is represented by Old English Handscio (the name of one of Beowulf's companions, eaten by Grendel), but this is attested only as a proper name. Meaning "boxing glove" is from 1847. Figurative use of fit like a glove is by 1771.
glove (v.) Look up glove at
"to cover or fit with a glove," c. 1400, from glove (n.). Related: Gloved; gloving. Old English had adjective glofed. Glover as a surname is from mid-13c.
glow (v.) Look up glow at
Old English glowan "to glow, shine as if red-hot," from Proto-Germanic *glo- (cognates: Old Saxon gloian, Old Frisian gled "glow, blaze," Old Norse gloa, Old High German gluoen, German glühen "to glow, glitter, shine"), from PIE *ghel- (2) "to shine," with derivatives referring to bright materials and gold (see glass (n.), also glint, glad, etc.). Figuratively from late 14c. Related: Glowed; glowing. Swedish dialectal and Danish glo also have the extended sense "stare, gaze upon," which is found in Middle English.
glow (n.) Look up glow at
mid-15c., "glowing heat," from glow (v). Meaning "a flush of radiant feeling" is from 1793.
glow-worm (n.) Look up glow-worm at
early 14c., from glow (v.) + worm (n.). Actually the wingless female form of a beetle (Lampyris noctiluca). The males have wings but do not glow.
glower (v.) Look up glower at
mid-14c., "to shine;" c. 1500, "to stare with wide eyes," perhaps from a Scandinavian source (compare Norwegian dialectal glora "to glow, gleam; stare"), or related to Middle Dutch gluren "to leer;" in either case from Proto-Germanic *glo- (see glow (v.)), root of Old English glowan "to glow," which influenced the spelling of this word. Meaning "to look angrily, look intently and threateningly, scowl" is from 18c. Related: Glowered; glowering. As a noun, 1715, "an angry or threatening stare," from the verb.
glucagon (n.) Look up glucagon at
1923, from gluco- + Greek agon, present participle of agein "to lead" (see act (n.)).
gluco- Look up gluco- at
before vowels, gluc-, word-forming element used since c. 1880s, a later form of glyco-, from Greek glykys "sweet," figuratively "delightful; dear; simple, silly," from *glku-, dissimilated in Greek from PIE root *dlk-u- "sweet" (source also of Latin dulcis). Now usually with reference to glucose.
glucose (n.) Look up glucose at
name of a group of sugars (in commercial use, "sugar-syrup from starch"), 1840, from French glucose (1838), said to have been coined by French professor Eugène Melchior Péligot (1811-1890) from Greek gleukos "must, sweet wine," related to glykys "sweet" (see gluco-). It first was obtained from grape sugar. Related: Glucosic.
glue (n.) Look up glue at
"viscous adhesive substance," early 13c., from Old French glu "glue, birdlime" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *glutis or Late Latin glutem (nominative glus) "glue," from Latin gluten "glue, beeswax," from PIE *gleit- "to glue, paste" (cognates: Lithuanian glitus "sticky," glitas "mucus;" Old English cliða "plaster"), from root *glei- "to stick together" (see clay). Formerly also glew. In reference to glue from boiled animal hoofs and hides, c. 1400. Glue-sniffing attested from 1963.
glue (v.) Look up glue at
"join or fasten with glue," late 14c., from Old French gluer, gluier "smear with glue; join together," from glu "glue, birdlime" (see glue (n.)). Related: Glued; gluing.
glue-pot (n.) Look up glue-pot at
late 15c., from glue (n.) + pot (n.1). Typically a double pot, one within the other, the inner one for the glue, the outer for the hot water.
gluey (adj.) Look up gluey at
late 14c., from glue (n.) + -y (2).
glug (n.) Look up glug at
1768, imitative of the sound of swallowing a drink, etc. From 1895 as a verb. Compare Middle English glub "to swallow greedily."
glum (adj.) Look up glum at
1540s, "sullen, moody, frowning," from Middle English gloumen (v.) "become dark" (c. 1300), later gloumben "look gloomy or sullen" (late 14c.); see gloom. Or from or influenced by Low German glum "gloomy, troubled, turbid." In English the word was also formerly a noun meaning "a sullen look" (1520s). An 18c. extended or colloquial form glump led to the expression the glumps "a fit of sulkiness." Glunch (1719) was a Scottish variant. Related: Glumly; glumness.
glut (v.) Look up glut at
early 14c., glotien "to feed to repletion" (transitive), probably from Old French glotir "to swallow, gulp down, engulf," from Latin glutire/gluttire "to swallow, gulp down," from PIE root *gwele- (3) "to swallow" (see gullet). Intransitive sense "feed (oneself) to repletion" is from c. 1400. Related: Glutted; glutting.
glut (n.) Look up glut at
1530s, "a gulp, a swallowing," from glut (v.). Meaning "condition of being full or sated" is 1570s; mercantile sense "superabundance, oversupply of a commodity on the market" first recorded 1590s.
glutamate (n.) Look up glutamate at
salt of glutamic acid, 1876, from glutamic acid (see gluten) + -ate (3).
gluteal (adj.) Look up gluteal at
also glutaeal, by 1804, from gluteus + -al (1).
gluten (n.) Look up gluten at
1630s, "a sticky substance," from Middle French gluten "sticky substance" (16c.) or directly from Latin gluten (glutin-) "glue" (see glue (n.)). Used 16c.-19c. for the part of animal tissue now called fibrin; used since 1803 of the nitrogenous part of the flour of wheat or other grain; hence glutamic acid (1871), a common amino acid, and its salt, glutamate.
gluteus (n.) Look up gluteus at
buttocks muscle, 1680s, from Modern Latin glutaeus, from Greek gloutos "the rump," in plural, "the buttocks."
glutin (n.) Look up glutin at
1825, from French glutine, probably from Latin gluten "glue" (see gluten) + chemical suffix -ine (2). Used in chemistry in several senses before settling on "gelatin prepared from animal hides, hoofs, etc." (1845).
glutinous (adj.) Look up glutinous at
"viscous, sticky, of the nature of glue," early 15c., from Latin glutinosus "gluey, viscous, tenacious," from gluten (genitive glutinis) "glue" (see glue (n.)). Glutinosity is from c. 1400. Related: Glutinousness.
glutton (n.) Look up glutton at
"one who eats and drinks to excess," early 13c., from Old French gloton "glutton;" also "scoundrel," a general term of abuse (Modern French glouton), from Latin gluttonem (nominative glutto) "overeater," formed from gluttire "to swallow," from gula "throat," from PIE *gwele- (3) "to swallow" (see glut (v.)). General sense in reference to one who indulges in anything to excess is from 1704. Glutton for punishment is from pugilism; the phrase is from 1854, but the idea is older:
Thus, Theocritus, in his Milling-match, calls Amycus "a glutton," which is well known to be the classical phrase at Moulsey-Hurst, for one who, like Amycus, takes a deal of punishment before he is satisfied. [Tom Moore, "Tom Crib's Memorial to Congress," 1819]
gluttonous (adj.) Look up gluttonous at
mid-14c.; see glutton + -ous. Related: Gluttonously.
gluttony (n.) Look up gluttony at
"extravagant indulgence of appetite," c. 1200, glutunie, from Old French glotonie "debauchery, gluttony," from gloton "glutton" (see glutton). Gluttonry recorded from late 12c.
glycemia (n.) Look up glycemia at
also glycaemia, "presence or level of sugar in the blood," 1901, from glyco- "sugar" + -emia "condition of the blood."
glycemic (adj.) Look up glycemic at
1923, from glycemia + -ic.
glyceride (n.) Look up glyceride at
compound of glycerol and organic acids, 1864; see glycerin + -ide.
glycerin (n.) Look up glycerin at
also glycerine, thick, colorless syrup, 1838, from French glycérine, coined by French chemist Michel-Eugène Chevreul (1786-1889), from glycero- "sweet" + chemical ending -ine (2). So called for its sweet taste. Still in popular use, but in chemistry the substance now is known as glycerol.
glycerine (n.) Look up glycerine at
see glycerin.
glycerol (n.) Look up glycerol at
1872, from glycerine + -ol, suffix denoting alcohols.
glyco- Look up glyco- at
before vowels glyc-, word-forming element meaning "sweet," from Latinized comb. form of Greek glykys, glykeros "sweet" (see gluco-). Used in reference to sugars generally. OED says a regular formation would be glycy-.
glycogen (n.) Look up glycogen at
starch-like substance found in the liver and animal tissue, 1860, from French glycogène, "sugar-producer," from Greek-derived glyco- "sweet" (see glyco-) + French -gène (see -gen). Coined in 1848 by French physiologist Claude Bernard (1813-1878).
glycogenic (adj.) Look up glycogenic at
1856, from French; see glycogen + -ic.