Definitions

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

  • noun A surface shininess or luster.
  • noun A kind of paint that dries to a shiny finish.
  • noun A cosmetic that adds shine or luster, such as lip gloss.
  • noun A superficially or deceptively attractive appearance or good reputation.
  • transitive verb To give a bright sheen or luster to.
  • transitive verb To apply a gloss to.
  • noun A brief explanatory note or translation of a difficult or technical expression usually inserted in the margin or between lines of a text or manuscript.
  • noun A collection of such notes; a glossary.
  • noun An extensive commentary, often accompanying a text or publication.
  • noun A purposefully misleading interpretation or explanation.
  • transitive verb To provide (an expression or a text) with a gloss or glosses.
  • transitive verb To give a false interpretation to.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A superficial lustrous smoothness, with soft changing reflections, due to the nature of the material, as distinguished from polish, which is artificially produced; in general, any glistening smoothness, natural or artificial: as, the gloss of satin, of hair, of paint, etc.
  • noun Hence External show; a specious appearance or representation.
  • noun In leather manufacturing, a preparation which gives leather its final polish or finish.
  • To explain by a gloss or marginal note; translate; hence, to render clear and evident by comments; illustrate; comment upon.
  • Hence To give a specious appearance to; render specious and plausible; palliate by fabricated representation.
  • To comment; write or make explanatory remarks.
  • noun An abbreviation of glossary.
  • To give a superficial luster to; make smooth and shining: as, to gloss cloth; to gloss a horse's coat.
  • Hence To impart a specious appearance to; hide under a smooth false show.
  • noun A word in the text of an author, especially a foreign author, requiring explanation.
  • noun The explanation, translation, or definition of such a word; an explanatory note or remark upon some word or passage in a text, especially one written in the margin, or, as was the practice with the earliest glosses, between the lines.
  • noun Hence An artfully misleading or false explanation.

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

  • noun Brightness or luster of a body proceeding from a smooth surface; polish
  • noun A specious appearance; superficial quality or show.
  • transitive verb To give a superficial luster or gloss to; to make smooth and shining.
  • noun obsolete A foreign, archaic, technical, or other uncommon word requiring explanation.
  • noun An interpretation, consisting of one or more words, interlinear or marginal; an explanatory note or comment; a running commentary.
  • noun A false or specious explanation.
  • intransitive verb To make comments; to comment; to explain.
  • intransitive verb To make sly remarks, or insinuations.
  • transitive verb To render clear and evident by comments; to illustrate; to explain; to annotate.
  • transitive verb To give a specious appearance to; to render specious and plausible; to palliate by specious explanation.

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

  • noun uncountable A surface shine or luster/lustre
  • noun uncountable, figuratively A superficially or deceptively attractive appearance
  • verb transitive To give a gloss or sheen to.
  • verb transitive To make (something) attractive by deception
  • verb intransitive To become shiny.
  • noun countable A brief explanatory note or translation of a difficult or complex expression, usually inserted in the margin or between lines of a text.
  • noun countable A glossary; a collection of such notes.
  • noun countable An extensive commentary on some text.
  • noun countable A deliberately misleading explanation.
  • noun countable A brief explanation in speech or in a written work, including a synonym used with the intent of indicating the meaning of the word to which it is applied
  • noun countable (law, US) An interpretation by a court of specific point within a statute or case law
  • verb transitive To add a gloss to (a text).
  • verb transitive To give a deliberately false interpretation of.

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

  • noun an explanation or definition of an obscure word in a text

Etymologies

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

[Perhaps of Scandinavian origin; akin to Icelandic glossi, a spark; see ghel- in Indo-European roots.]

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

[Middle English glose, from Old French, from Medieval Latin glōsa, from Latin glōssa, foreign word requiring explanation, from Greek, tongue, language.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Late Latin glossa ("an obsolete or foreign difficult word requiring explanation, later applied to explanation itself"), from Ancient Greek γλῶσσα (glōssa, "tongue, language, an obsolete or foreign word requiring explanation").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Icelandic glossi ("a blaze").

Examples

Comments

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  • The linguistics department of the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig (dir. Bernard Comrie) has codified morphemic glossing rules. Hurrah!

    June 11, 2009