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Anglo-Norman and Old French glorius et al., from Latin glōriōsus. Displaced native Middle English wuldrig, from Old English.



glorious ‎(comparative gloriouser or more glorious, superlative gloriousest or most glorious)

  1. Exhibiting attributes, qualities, or acts that are worthy of or receive glory
    glorious deeds
    • 1604, William Shakespeare, Othello, Act III, Scene III, line 351:
      Farewell the neighing steed, and the shrill trump, / The spirit-stirring drum, th' ear-piercing fife, / The royal banner, and all quality, / Pride, pomp and circumstance of glorious war!
  2. excellent, wonderful
    • (Can we date this quote?) John Milton:
      These are thy glorious works, Parent of good.
    • 2012 August 23, Alasdair Lamont, “Hearts 0-1 Liverpool”, in BBC Sport[1]:
      Borini missed another glorious opportunity to give his side the lead after brilliant set-up play by Sterling, but with only the exposed keeper to beat, he struck the post.
  3. Splendid; resplendent; bright; shining, as the sun, gold, or other shiny objects.
    • 1590, William Shakespeare, Henry VI, Part II, Act III, Scene I, line 351:
      And this fell tempest shall not cease to rage / Until the golden circuit on my head, / Like to the glorious sun's transparent beams, / Do calm the fury of this mad-bred flaw.
  4. (obsolete) Eager for glory or distinction; haughty; boastful; ostentatious; vainglorious.
    • 1609, William Shakespeare, Cymbeline, Act I, Scene VI, line 6:
      [] but most miserable / Is the desire that’s glorious: blest be those, / How mean soe’er, that have their honest wills, / Which seasons comfort. []
  5. (archaic, colloquial) Ecstatic; hilarious; elated with drink.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Robert Burns:
      [] kings may be blest, but Tam was glorious, O’er all the ills of life victorious.
    • (Can we date this quote?) John Dryden:
      During his office treason was no crime, The sons of Belial had a glorious time.

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Old French[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]


Latin glōriōsus.


glorious m ‎(oblique and nominative feminine singular gloriouse) (Anglo-Norman)

  1. glorious
    • 13th century, Unknown, La Vie de Saint Laurent, page 11, column 2, line 2:
      dunc dist Damnedeu glorious
      so, he says [to] glorious God