Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Performed with a natural, offhand ease.
  • adjective Given to or characterized by fluency of speech or writing that often suggests insincerity, superficiality, or a lack of concern.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Smooth; slippery: as, ice is glib.
  • Running smoothly or sleekly; plausibly voluble: as, a glib tongue.
  • To castrate.
  • To run smoothly; move freely, as the tongue.
  • To make smooth; cause to run smoothly, as the tongue; make glib.
  • noun A bushy head of hair, formerly common among the Irish. See the extracts.
  • noun A man wearing such a bush of hair.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb obsolete To castrate; to geld; to emasculate.
  • adjective obsolete Smooth; slippery.
  • adjective Speaking or spoken smoothly and with flippant rapidity; fluent; voluble
  • noun obsolete A thick lock of hair, hanging over the eyes.
  • transitive verb obsolete To make glib.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb obsolete To castrate; to geld; to emasculate.
  • adjective Having a ready flow of words but lacking thought or understanding; superficial; shallow.
  • adjective Smooth or slippery.
  • adjective Artfully persuasive in nature.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective having only superficial plausibility
  • adjective artfully persuasive in speech
  • adjective marked by lack of intellectual depth

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Possibly of Low German origin; see ghel- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Compare Old English and dialect lib to castrate, geld, Danish dialect live, Low German and Old Dutch lubben.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Probably modification of Low German glibberig (slippery).

Examples

Comments

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  • I need a quotation to remember the meaning of this word. Help!

    October 21, 2008

  • Well, you made me go look it up and I discover Dutch origins…

    1. ready and fluent, often thoughtlessly or insincerely so: glib speakers; a glib tongue.

    2. easy, as action or manner. glibberig'>backformation from obsolete glibbery slippery, from Dutch glibberig

    Would "glibbery slippery" be sufficient to help you remember?

    October 21, 2008

  • How about this:

    "What is the question now placed before society with the glib assurance which to me is most astonishing? That question is this: Is man an ape or an angel? I, my lord, I am on the side of the angels. I repudiate with indignation and abhorrence those new fangled theories." -- Benjamin Disraeli, 1864

    October 21, 2008

  • Or you can use a techie (GLib) reference, but interpret in the usual sense:

    "Why o' why glib? Don't you know that glib abort()s when memory allocation fails?"

    October 21, 2008

  • Thank you! Now I need a word to remember your quotations. Maybe glib?

    October 21, 2008