What is the difference between glow and shine?

glow | shine |

Glow is a synonym of shine.

As verbs the difference between glow and shine

is that glow is to give off light from heat or to emit light as if heated while shine is to emit light or shine can be to cause (something) to shine; put a shine on (something); polish (something).

As nouns the difference between glow and shine

is that glow is the state of a glowing object while shine is brightness from a source of light.

Other Comparisons: What's the difference?




(en verb)
  • To give off light from heat or to emit light as if heated.
  • To radiate some emotional quality like light.
  • * Dryden
  • With pride it mounts, and with revenge it glows .
  • * Alexander Pope
  • Burns with one love, with one resentment glows .
  • To gaze especially passionately at something.
  • To radiate thermal heat.
  • To shine brightly and steadily.
  • * , chapter=5
  • , title= The Mirror and the Lamp , passage=Here, in the transept and choir, where the service was being held, one was conscious every moment of an increasing brightness; colours glowing vividly beneath the circular chandeliers, and the rows of small lights on the choristers' desks flashed and sparkled in front of the boys' faces, deep linen collars, and red neckbands.}}
  • To make hot; to flush.
  • * Shakespeare
  • Fans, whose wind did seem / To glow the delicate cheeks which they did cool.
  • To feel hot; to have a burning sensation, as of the skin, from friction, exercise, etc.; to burn.
  • * Addison
  • Did not his temples glow / In the same sultry winds and scorching heats?
  • * John Gay
  • The cord slides swiftly through his glowing hands.


  • The state of a glowing object.
  • * 1994 , (Stephen Fry), (The Hippopotamus) Chapter 2
  • The door of the twins' room opposite was open; a twenty-watt night-light threw a weak yellow glow into the passageway. David could hear the twins breathing in time with each other.
  • The condition of being passionate or having warm feelings.
  • The brilliance or warmth of color in an environment or on a person (especially one's face).
  • He had a bright red glow on his face.





    Etymology 1

    From (etyl) shinen, schinen (preterite schon, past participle schinen), from (etyl) . Cognate with West Frisian skine, skyne, Low German schienen, Dutch schijnen, German scheinen, Danish skinne, Swedish skina. In Middle English the most standard forms are[http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/m/mec/med-idx?type=id&id=MED39953]: * present: sh?nen * simple past: (singular) sh?ne'', (plural) ''sh?neden * past participle: sh?ned The form sh?ned(e)'' had already appeared as an alternative past singular at this time, although only in Northern English usage. There is no recorded use of ''sh?ne as an alternative past participle in Middle English.


  • To emit light.
  • * {{quote-book, year=1963, author=(Margery Allingham), title=(The China Governess)
  • , chapter=20 citation , passage=‘No. I only opened the door a foot and put my head in. The street lamps shine into that room. I could see him. He was all right. Sleeping like a great grampus. Poor, poor chap.’}}
  • To reflect light.
  • To distinguish oneself; to excel.
  • * 1867 , Frederick William Robinson, No Man's Friend , Harper & Brothers, page 91:
  • “ I was grateful to you for giving him a year’s schooling—where he shined' at it—and for putting him as a clerk in your counting-house, where he ' shined still more.”
  • * '>citation
  • It prompted an exchange of substitutions as Jermain Defoe replaced Palacios and Javier Hernandez came on for Berbatov, who had failed to shine against his former club.
  • To be effulgent in splendour or beauty.
  • * Spenser
  • So proud she shined in her princely state.
  • * Alexander Pope
  • Once brightest shined this child of heat and air.
  • To be eminent, conspicuous, or distinguished; to exhibit brilliant intellectual powers.
  • * Jonathan Swift
  • Few are qualified to shine in company; but it in most men's power to be agreeable.
  • To be immediately apparent.
  • To create light with (a flashlight, lamp, torch, or similar).
  • * 2007 , David Lynn Goleman, Legend: An Event Group Thriller , St. Martin’s Press (2008), ISBN 978-0-312-94595-7, page 318:
  • As Jenks shined the large spotlight on the water, he saw a few bubbles and four long wakes leading away from an expanding circle of blood.
  • To cause to shine, as a light.
  • * (Francis Bacon)
  • He [God] doth not rain wealth, nor shine honour and virtues, upon men equally.
  • (US) To make bright; to cause to shine by reflected light.
  • (Bartlett)
    * (to emit light) beam, glow, radiate * (to reflect light) gleam, glint, glisten, glitter, reflect * (to distinguish oneself) excel * (to make smooth and shiny by rubbing) wax, buff, polish, furbish, burnish
    Coordinate terms
    * (to emit light) beam, flash, glare, glimmer, shimmer, twinkle
    Derived terms
    * beshine * rise and shine * take a shine to


  • Brightness from a source of light.
  • * Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • the distant shine of the celestial city
  • Brightness from reflected light.
  • Excellence in quality or appearance.
  • Shoeshine.
  • Sunshine.
  • * Dryden
  • be it fair or foul, or rain or shine
  • (slang) Moonshine.
  • (cricket) The amount of shininess on a cricket ball, or on each side of the ball.
  • (slang) A liking for a person; a fancy.
  • She's certainly taken a shine to you.
  • (archaic, slang) A caper; an antic; a row.
  • Synonyms
    * (brightness from a source of light) effulgence, radiance, radiancy, refulgence, refulgency * (brightness from reflected light) luster * (excellence in quality or appearance) brilliance, splendor * (shoeshine) See shoeshine * (sunshine) See sunshine * See moonshine
    Derived terms
    * come rain or shine * fireshine * shimmer * shiner * shininess * shiny * spitshine

    Etymology 2

    From the noun (shine), or perhaps continuing (etyl) schinen (preterite schinede, past participle schined), from (etyl) .


  • To cause (something) to shine; put a shine on (something); polish (something).
  • He shined my shoes until they were polished smooth and gleaming.
  • (cricket) To polish a cricket ball using saliva and one’s clothing.
  • Synonyms
    * (to polish) polish, smooth, smoothen