If you had a brief or incomplete look at something, you had a glimpse. “He didn’t mean to peek, but he got a glimpse of his birthday present when his wife tried to sneak it into the house. Of course, it’s pretty hard to hide a ladder.”

You can use glimpse as a noun (like when you “catch a glimpse of someone”) or as a verb (like when you “glimpse in someone’s direction”). Although the word glimpse is usually used to describe the physical act of sneaking a peek at something, you can also use the noun glimpse to indicate a vague idea or suggestion. Perhaps, you can have a glimpse into your future by observing your parents’ actions or by consulting a Tarot card reader.

Definitions of glimpse
  1. noun

    a brief or incomplete view

    “from the window he could catch a
    glimpse of the lake”
    see moresee less

    type of:

    aspect, panorama, prospect, scene, view, vista

    the visual percept of a region

  2. noun

    a quick look

    coup d’oeil, gander, glance
    see moresee less



    a radiant glance of the eye
    side-glance, side-look

    a glance sideways
    type of:

    look, looking, looking at

    the act of directing the eyes toward something and perceiving it visually

  3. noun

    a vague indication

    “he caught only a
    glimpse of the professor’s meaning”
    see moresee less

    type of:

    indicant, indication

    something that serves to indicate or suggest

  4. verb

    catch a glimpse of or see briefly

    glimpsed the Queen as she got into her limousine”
    see moresee less

    type of:


    perceive by sight or have the power to perceive by sight

Word Family