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From Latin glaucus, from Ancient Greek γλαυκός (glaukós, blue-green, blue-grey), 1670s.[1] See Irish glas.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈɡlɔː.kəs/
    • (file)
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈɡlɑ.kəs/, /ˈɡlɔ.kəs/
  • Rhymes: -ɔːkəs


glaucous (comparative more glaucous, superlative most glaucous)

  1. (color) Of a pale grey or bluish-green, especially when covered with a powdery residue.
    • 1955, Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita:
      I realised I was the only shopper in that rather eerie place where I moved about fishlike, in a glaucous aquarium []
    • 1994, Cormac McCarthy, The Crossing:
      [] inside you could see the wires and cables that ran aft to the rudder and elevators and the cracked and curled and sunblacked leather of the seats and in their tarnished nickel bezels the glass of instrument dials glaucous and clouded from the pumicing of the desert sands.
    • 1997, David Foster Wallace, “A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again”, in A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again, Kindle edition, Little, Brown Book Group:
      Traveling at sea for the first time is a chance to realize that the ocean is not one ocean. The water changes. The Atlantic that seethes off the eastern U.S. is glaucous and lightless and looks mean. Around Jamaica, though, it’s more like a milky aquamarine, and translucent.
  2. (botany) Covered with a bloom or a pale powdery covering, regardless of colour.

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  1. ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2023), “glaucous”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.