glass

\ \ [OE] The making of glass goes back to ancient Egyptian times, and so most of the words for it in the various Indo-European languages are of considerable antiquity. In those days, it was far easier to make coloured glass than the familiar clear glass of today. In particular, Roman glass was standardly bluish-green, and many words for ‘glass’ originated in colour terms signifying ‘blue’ or ‘green’. In the case of glass, its distant ancestor was Indo-European *gel- or *ghel-, which produced a host of colour adjectives ranging in application from ‘grey’ through ‘blue’ and ‘green’ to ‘yellow’. Among its descendants was West Germanic *glasam, which gave German, Dutch, Swedish, and Danish glas and English glass. A secondary semantic development of the word’s base, glass being a shiny substance, was ‘shine, gleam’; this probably lies behind English glare [13], whose primary sense is ‘shine dazzlingly’ (the change of s to r is a well-known phonetic phenomenon, termed ‘rhoticization’). Irish gloineglass’ also comes from Indo-European *g(h)el-, and French verre and Italian vetroglass’ go back to Latin vitrumglass’ (source of English vitreous), which also meant ‘woad’, a plant which gives a blue dye.
\ \ The use of the plural glasses for ‘spectacles’ dates from the mid-17th century. The verb glaze [14] is an English derivative of glass.
\ \ Cf.GLAZE

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • glass — glass …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • Glass — (gl[.a]s), n. [OE. glas, gles, AS. gl[ae]s; akin to D., G., Dan., & Sw. glas, Icel. glas, gler, Dan. glar; cf. AS. gl[ae]r amber, L. glaesum. Cf. {Glare}, n., {Glaze}, v. t.] [1913 Webster] 1. A hard, brittle, translucent, and commonly… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • GLASS —    Glass results from the heating of a mixture of sand, lime, and sodium carbonate to a very high temperature. When different materials are added to the sand, glass can become transparent, translucent, or colored. While the origins of glass are… …   Historical Dictionary of Architecture

  • Glass — oder Glaß ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Andrea Glass (* 1976), deutsche Tennisspielerin Bernhard Glass (* 1957), deutscher Rennrodler Carter Glass (1858−1946), US amerikanischer Politiker Frank Glaß (* 1965), deutscher Fußballspieler… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • glass — [ glæs ] noun *** ▸ 1 clear substance ▸ 2 for drinking out of ▸ 3 objects made of glass ▸ 4 mirror ▸ 5 barometer ▸ + PHRASES 1. ) uncount a hard clear substance used for making objects such as windows or bottles: car windows made of bulletproof… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • GLASS (P.) — GLASS PHILIP (1937 ) Le compositeur américain Philip Glass naît le 31 janvier 1937 à Baltimore. Son père, disquaire et réparateur de radio, initie le jeune Philip à la musique en lui faisant écouter de nombreux disques. À l’âge de huit ans, il… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • glass — [ glas ] n. m. • 1628 glace; all. Glas, glass 1886 d apr. l angl. ♦ Arg. Vieilli Verre (d une boisson alcoolisée). Des glass. ⊗ HOM. Glace. ⇒GLASS, subst. masc. Pop. Verre à boire : • POTIRON. C est moi qui fais le chef d orchestre. VANDERAGUE.… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • glass — O.E. glæs glass, a glass vessel, from W.Gmc. *glasam (Cf. O.S. glas, M.Du., Du. glas, Ger. Glas, O.N. gler glass, looking glass, Dan. glar), from PIE *ghel to shine, glitter (Cf. L. glaber smooth, bald, O.C.S. gladuku …   Etymology dictionary

  • glass — [glas, gläs] n. [ME glas < OE glæs, akin to Ger glas < IE base * ĝhel , to shine > GOLD, GLINT, GLOW] 1. a hard, brittle substance made by fusing silicates with soda or potash, lime, and, sometimes, various metallic oxides into a molten… …   English World dictionary

  • glass´i|ly — glass|y «GLAS ee, GLAHS », adjective, glass|i|er, glass|i|est, noun, plural glass|ies. –adj. 1. like glass; smooth; easily seen through: » …   Useful english dictionary

  • glass|y — «GLAS ee, GLAHS », adjective, glass|i|er, glass|i|est, noun, plural glass|ies. –adj. 1. like glass; smooth; easily seen through: » …   Useful english dictionary

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