Meaning of GLASS in English

I. glass 1 S1 W1 /ɡlɑːs $ ɡlæs/ BrE AmE noun

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ glass , glasses, ↑ glassful , ↑ glassware ; adjective : glass, ↑ glassy ]

[ Language: Old English ; Origin: glæs ]

1 . TRANSPARENT MATERIAL [uncountable] a transparent solid substance used for making windows, bottles etc:

a glass bowl

a piece of broken glass

pane/sheet of glass (=a flat piece of glass with straight edges)

the cathedral’s stained glass windows

2 .

FOR DRINKING [countable] a container used for drinking made of glass ⇨ cup

wine/brandy/champagne etc glass

Nigel raised his glass in a toast to his son.

3 . AMOUNT OF LIQUID [countable] the amount of a drink contained in a glass

glass of

She poured a glass of wine.

4 .

FOR EYES glasses [plural] two pieces of specially cut glass or plastic in a frame, which you wear in order to see more clearly SYN spectacles :

He was clean-shaven and wore glasses.

I need a new pair of glasses.

distance/reading glasses ⇨ ↑ dark glasses , ↑ field glasses


Glasses is plural, even when it refers to a single object. Do not say 'a glasses’:

She’s got nice (NOT a nice) glasses.

5 . GLASS OBJECTS [uncountable] objects which are made of glass, especially ones used for drinking and eating:

a priceless collection of Venetian glass

6 . people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones used to say that you should not criticize someone for having a fault if you have the same fault yourself

7 . somebody sees the glass as half-empty/half-full used to say that a particular person is more likely to notice the good parts or the bad parts of a situation

8 . under glass plants that are grown under glass are protected from the cold by a glass cover

9 . MIRROR [countable] old-fashioned a mirror

10 . the glass old-fashioned a ↑ barometer

⇨ ↑ cut glass , ↑ ground glass , ↑ looking glass , ↑ magnifying glass , ↑ plate glass , ↑ safety glass , ↑ stained glass , ⇨ raise your glass at ↑ raise 1 (16)

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COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 1)


▪ broken glass

She cleaned up the broken glass with a dustpan and brush.

▪ stained glass (=glass of different colours used in windows)

He designed the stained glass windows of Coventry Cathedral.

▪ tinted glass (=coloured rather than completely transparent)

The car had tinted glass.

▪ frosted glass (=glass with a rough surface so that it is not transparent)

The bathroom windows were made of frosted glass.

▪ clear glass (=that you can see through rather than being coloured)

The drink comes in clear glass bottles.

▪ plate glass (=big pieces of glass made in large thick sheets, used especially in shop windows)

Vandals smashed a plate glass window.

▪ safety glass (=strong glass that breaks into small pieces that are not sharp)

The company makes safety glass for car windows.

■ glass + NOUN

▪ a glass bottle/bowl/vase etc

Glass bottles can be recycled very easily.

▪ a glass window/door

The doors had two round glass windows in them.

■ phrases

▪ a piece of glass

He cut his foot on a piece of glass.

▪ a shard/splinter of glass (=a sharp piece of broken glass)

People were injured by shards of glass following the explosion.

▪ a fragment of glass (=a small piece of glass that has broken off)

Fragments of glass covered the floor near the broken window.

▪ a pane of glass (=a piece of glass used in a window)

There was a broken pane of glass in the kitchen window.

▪ a sheet of glass (=a piece of flat glass)

Sheets of glass were used as shelves.

■ verbs

▪ glass breaks

This type of glass doesn’t break easily.

▪ glass shatters (=break into small pieces)

When glass shatters, it leaves jagged edges.

▪ glass cracks

Glass will crack if too much pressure is put on it.

• • •

COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 4)

■ verbs

▪ wear glasses

I didn’t know you wore glasses.

▪ put on your glasses

He put on his glasses and read through the instructions.

▪ take off/remove your glasses

Elsie took off her glasses and rubbed her eyes.

▪ wipe/clean your glasses

Harry wiped his glasses with the corner of a handkerchief.

▪ break your glasses

I broke my glasses when I accidentally sat on them.

■ phrases

▪ a pair of glasses

She was wearing a new pair of glasses.


▪ dark glasses (=sunglasses)

She wore a scarf over her head and dark glasses.

▪ reading glasses (=for reading)

She looked at him over the frames of her reading glasses.

▪ distance glasses (=for seeing things that are not close to you)

Without her distance glasses she couldn't see his expression.

▪ tinted glasses (=with coloured glass)

He always wore a pair of tinted glasses.

▪ steel-/horn-/gold-rimmed glasses (=with frames made of steel etc)

He was a thin little guy with gold-rimmed glasses.

▪ thick glasses (=with lenses that are thick)

She peered up at them through thick glasses.

II. glass 2 BrE AmE verb

glass something ↔ in phrasal verb British English

to cover something with glass, or to build a glass structure around something

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.