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From Middle English glas, from Old English glæs, from Proto-Germanic *glasą, possibly related root *glōaną (to shine) (compare glow), and ultimately from the Proto-Indo-European root *ǵʰel- (to shine, shimmer, glow); cognate with West Frisian glês, Low German Glas, Dutch glas, German Glas, Icelandic gler, Swedish glas.



a glass (drinking vessel) of milk

glass (countable and uncountable, plural glasses)

  1. (uncountable) An amorphous solid, often transparent substance made by melting sand with a mixture of soda, potash and lime.
    The tabletop is made of glass.
    A popular myth is that window glass is actually an extremely viscous liquid. Although above 950 degrees F it does become a super cool liquid.
    • 2013 September-October, Henry Petroski, “The Evolution of Eyeglasses”, in American Scientist:
      The ability of a segment of a glass sphere to magnify whatever is placed before it was known around the year 1000, when the spherical segment was called a reading stone, essentially what today we might term a frameless magnifying glass or plain glass paperweight.
  2. (countable) A vessel from which one drinks, especially one made of glass, plastic, or similar translucent or semi-translucent material.
    Fill my glass with milk please.
  3. (metonymically) The quantity of liquid contained in such a vessel.
    Would you like a glass of milk?
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 2, in The Celebrity:
      Here was my chance. I took the old man aside, and two or three glasses of Old Crow launched him into reminiscence.
    • 1892, Walter Besant, chapter III, in The Ivory Gate: A Novel, New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers, Franklin Square, OCLC 16832619:
      At half-past nine on this Saturday evening, the parlour of the Salutation Inn, High Holborn, contained most of its customary visitors. [] In former days every tavern of repute kept such a room for its own select circle, a club, or society, of habitués, who met every evening, for a pipe and a cheerful glass.
  4. (uncountable) Glassware.
    We collected art glass.
  5. A mirror.
    • 1599, Thomas Dekker, Old Fortunatus, Act III, Scene 1, J.M. Dent & Co., 1904, p. 67,[1]
      [] for what lady can abide to love a spruce silken-face courtier, that stands every morning two or three hours learning how to look by his glass, how to speak by his glass, how to sigh by his glass, how to court his mistress by his glass? I would wish him no other plague, but to have a mistress as brittle as glass.
    She adjusted her lipstick in the glass.
  6. A magnifying glass or telescope.
    • 1912, The Encyclopædia of Sport & Games
      Haviers, or stags which have been gelded when young, have no horns, as is well known, and in the early part of the stalking season, when seen through a glass, might be mistaken for hummels []
  7. (sports) A barrier made of solid, transparent material.
    1. (basketball, colloquial) The backboard.
      He caught the rebound off the glass.
    2. (ice hockey) The clear, protective screen surrounding a hockey rink.
      He fired the outlet pass off the glass.
  8. A barometer.
    • 1938, Louis MacNeice, “Bagpipe Music”:
      The glass is falling hour by hour, the glass will fall forever / But if you break the bloody glass you won’t hold up the weather.
  9. (attributive, in names of species) Transparent or translucent.
    glass frog;  glass shrimp;  glass worm
  10. (obsolete) An hourglass.

Derived termsEdit




glass (third-person singular simple present glasses, present participle glassing, simple past and past participle glassed)

  1. (transitive) To furnish with glass; to glaze.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Boyle to this entry?)
  2. (transitive) To enclose with glass.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)
  3. (transitive, Britain, colloquial) To strike (someone), particularly in the face, with a drinking glass with the intent of causing injury.
    • 1987, John Godber, Bouncers page 19:
      JUDD. Any trouble last night?
      LES. Usual. Couple of punks got glassed.
    • 2002, Geoff Doherty, A Promoter's Tale page 72:
      I often mused on what the politicians or authorities would say if they could see for themselves the horrendous consequences of someone who’d been glassed, or viciously assaulted.
    • 2003, Mark Sturdy, Pulp page 139:
      One night he was in this nightclub in Sheffield and he got glassed by this bloke who’d been just let out of prison that day.
  4. (video games) To bombard an area with such intensity (nuclear bomb, fusion bomb, etc) as to melt the landscape into glass.
    • 2012, Halo: First Strike, page 190:
      “The Covenant don’t ‘miss’ anything when they glass a planet,” the Master Chief replied.
  5. To view through an optical instrument such as binoculars.
    • 2000, Ben D. Mahaffey, 50 Years of Hunting and Fishing, page 95:
      Andy took his binoculars and glassed the area below.
  6. To smooth or polish (leather, etc.), by rubbing it with a glass burnisher.
  7. (archaic, reflexive) To reflect; to mirror.
    • Motley
      Happy to glass themselves in such a mirror.
    • Byron
      Where the Almighty's form glasses itself in tempests.




Etymology 1Edit

From Old Irish glas (blue-grey, green), from Proto-Celtic *glastos.



  1. green (of nature), verdant
    Ta'n londaig hannah jeeaghyn slane glass.The lawn looks quite green already.
    yn faarkey glass tonnagh fointhe green billowy sea under us
    yn awin ghlassthe green river
  2. grey (of animal), ashen (colour)
  3. soft, pale, pasty
  4. raw, unfledged, sappy
  5. callow (of youth)
Derived termsEdit

Etymology 2Edit

From Old Irish glas (lock, clasp)


glass m (genitive singular glish or gleish, plural glish or gleish)

  1. lock
    Hooar eh y glass er y dorrys roish.He found himself locked out.
    T'eh fo glass.He is behind bars.
    Ta glass er my hengey.My lips are sealed.
    Ta glass y dorrys er y çheu sthie.The door locks on the inside.
    Ta'n ogher shoh gentreil y glass.This key goes in the lock.
    Vrish ad y glass.They forced the lock.


glass (verbal noun glassey)

  1. lock up, secure


Manx mutation
Radical Lenition Eclipsis
glass ghlass nglass
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every
possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.

Norwegian BokmålEdit

Norwegian Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia no


From Middle Low German glas


  This entry needs pronunciation information. If you are familiar with the IPA then please add some!


glass n (definite singular glasset, indefinite plural glass, definite plural glassa or glassene)

  1. glass (a hard and transparent material)
  2. a glass (container for drink made of glass)
    et glass vin - a glass of wine
  3. a small container, such as a jar or bottle

Derived termsEdit

See alsoEdit




From French glace.



glass c

  1. an ice cream


Declension of glass 
Singular Plural
Indefinite Definite Indefinite Definite
Nominative glass glassen glassar glassarna
Genitive glass glassens glassars glassarnas

Related termsEdit