From Middle English glew, glue, from Old French glu (“glue, birdlime”), from Late Latin glūs (stem glūt-), from Latin glūten. Related to clay.
Displaced native Old English līm (“glue”) and ġelīman (“to glue”).
glue (countable and uncountable, plural glues)
- A hard gelatin made by boiling bones and hides, used in solution as an adhesive; or any sticky adhesive substance.
- 1832 July 1, “Review: Habits of Insects”, in North American Review, volume 35, number 76, JSTOR 25102967, page 217:
- The wasp has always made the paper from which it constructs its nest, by uniting vegetable fibres with glue, while man was vexing himself with attempts to write on the bark of trees or a waxen or metallic table.
- 1990, Jean Marie Auel, chapter 9, in The Plains of Passage (Earth's Children), New York: Random House, published 2010, →ISBN, page 145:
- During the next few days, while the meat dried, they were both busy. They finished the bowl boat and coated it with the glue Jondalar made by boiling down the hooves, bone, and hide scraps.
- (figurative) Anything that binds two things or people together.
- 1648, Robert Herrick, “A Kiss”, in Hesperides, London: H. G. Bohn, published 1852, page 159:
- What is a kiss ? Why this, as some approve, / The sure sweet cement, glue, and lime of love.
- 2022 December 28, Christian Wolmar, “Annus horribilus must mark a turning point for our railway”, in RAIL, number 973, page 45:
- In other words, the railways are the glue which holds the country together for those without cars, and for those of us who want to get between major cities sustainably and rapidly. The railways are not a 'nice to have extra', but a key component of our infrastructure.
- bee glue
- crazy glue
- fish glue
- flesh glue
- glue boiler
- glue code
- glue ear
- glue gun
- glue plant
- glue record
- glue sniffer
- glue stick
- hot glue
- hot glue gun
- hot melt glue
- I'm rubber and you're glue
- marine glue
- meat glue
- rice glue
- Scotch glue
- send to the glue factory
- skin glue
sticky adhesive substance
birdlime — see birdlime
glue (third-person singular simple present glues, present participle gluing or glueing, simple past and past participle glued)
- (transitive) To join or attach something using glue.
- I need to glue the chair-leg back into place.
- 2014 December 23, Olivia Judson, “The hemiparasite season [print version: Under the hemiparasite, International New York Times, 24–25 December 2014, page 7]”, in The New York Times, archived from the original on 23 December 2014:
- […] The flesh [of the mistletoe berry] is sticky, and forms strings and ribbons between my thumb and forefinger. For the mistletoe, this viscous goop – and by the way, viscous comes to English from viscum – is crucial. The stickiness means that, after eating the berries, birds often regurgitate the seeds and then wipe their bills on twigs – leading to the seeds' getting glued to the tree, where they can germinate and begin the cycle anew.
- (transitive) To cause something to adhere closely to; to follow attentively.
- His eyes were glued to the screen.
- 1898, J. Meade Falkner, chapter 4, in Moonfleet, London; Toronto, Ont.: Jonathan Cape, published 1934:
- So as I lay on the ground with my ear glued close against the wall, who should march round the church but John Trenchard, Esquire, not treading delicately like King Agag, or spying, but just come on a voyage of discovery for himself.
- 1961 May 9, Newton N. Minow, "Television and the Public Interest":
- Keep your eyes glued to that set until the station signs off. I can assure you that what you will observe is a vast wasteland.
- 2020 April 10, Stephen Buranyi, “The WHO v coronavirus: why it can't handle the pandemic”, in The Guardian:
- If, like me, you have been confined to your home, glued to the news and nursing ever greater anxiety about the state of the world, you have probably become familiar with the sight of the World Health Organization’s director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, and his daily press briefings.
- (join with glue): agglutinate, conglutinate, gum, paste
- (adhere closely): adhere, cling, stick; see also Thesaurus:adhere
join with glue
- Alternative form of glew (“glue”).
- Alternative form of glewen (“to play music, have fun”).