A gloss is a shiny finish on an object. It’s also an explanation about a word or phrase. Right now, you’re reading a gloss on the word gloss.

Gloss has a number of meanings, so it’s a good idea to read our gloss on this word. Gloss can refer to the shine or polish on a smooth surface. A gloss can also be a definition or explanation. A book may have glosses that explain what unusual or technical terms mean. Sometimes gloss has a negative sense: if you leave out important information when discussing something, you could be accused of glossing over those details.

Primary Meanings of gloss

the property of being smooth and shiny
give a shine or gloss to, usually by rubbing
provide an interlinear translation of a word or phrase
an explanation or definition of an obscure word in a text
Full Definitions of gloss

n the property of being smooth and shiny

burnish, glossiness, polish
French polish
the glaze produced by repeated applications of French polish shellac
a glossy finish on a fabric
Type of:
a texture without roughness; smooth to the touch
effulgence, radiance, radiancy, refulgence, refulgency, shine
the quality of being bright and sending out rays of light

v give a shine or gloss to, usually by rubbing

Type of:
polish, shine, smooth, smoothen
make (a surface) shine

v provide an interlinear translation of a word or phrase

Type of:
interpret, render, translate
restate (words) from one language into another language

v provide interlinear explanations for words or phrases

annotate, comment
Type of:
interpret, rede
give an interpretation or explanation to

v give a deceptive explanation or excuse for

color, colour
Type of:
apologise, apologize, excuse, justify, rationalise, rationalize
defend, explain, clear away, or make excuses for by reasoning

n an explanation or definition of an obscure word in a text

Type of:
account, explanation
a statement that makes something comprehensible by describing the relevant structure or operation or circumstances etc.

n an alphabetical list of technical terms in some specialized field of knowledge; usually published as an appendix to a text on that field

Type of:
a reference book containing words (usually with their meanings)

n an outward or token appearance or form that is deliberately misleading

“he tried to give his falsehood the gloss of moral sanction”
color, colour, semblance
show 6 types...
hide 6 types...
color of law, colour of law
a mere semblance of legal right; something done with the apparent authority of law but actually in contravention of law
an insubstantial or vague semblance
face value
the apparent worth as opposed to the real worth
guise, pretence, pretense, pretext
an artful or simulated semblance
camouflage, disguise
an outward semblance that misrepresents the true nature of something
the appearance of truth; the quality of seeming to be true
Type of:
appearance, visual aspect
outward or visible aspect of a person or thing

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