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See also: glože



From Middle English glosen, from Old French gloser, from Medieval Latin glossa. More at gloss.



gloze (plural glozes)

  1. A comment in the margin; explanatory note; gloss; commentary.
    • 1855, Robert Browning, “Master Hugues of Saxe-Gotha” in Men and Women, stanza 24,[1]
      So we o’ershroud stars and roses,
      Cherub and trophy and garland.
      Nothings grow something which quietly closes
      Heaven’s earnest eye,—not a glimpse of the far land
      Gets through our comments and glozes.
    • 1903, Cuthbert Atchley, The Parish Clerk, and his Right to Read the Liturgical Epistle, Alcuin Club Tracts IV, London: Longmans, Green & Co., p. 15,[2]
      The state of practice in the first half of the fifteenth century may be gathered from the gloze of Nicholas de Tudeschis, called Panormitan, on the text Ut quisque which we have quoted above.
    • 1912, Ezra Pound, Sonnets and Ballate of Guido Cavalcanti, London: Stephen Swift & Co., Introduction, p. 3,[3]
      The relation of certain words in the original to the practice of my translation may require gloze.
  2. Flattery.
    • 1803, Jerome Alley, The Judge; or, An Estimate of the Importance of the Judicial Character, London: Vernor & Hood, Canto III, p. 97,[4]
      [] if Virtue aught may crave, or Heav’n,
      Beware, alike, of factious leagues, impure,
      And courtly glozes vile.
    • 1897, J. G. Holland, The Mistress of the Manse, A Poem, New York: Scribner, “Love’s Philosophies,” III, p. 93,[5]
      No tender word or dainty gloze
      Could give him pleasure half so fine
      As that which tingled to her blows.
  3. (False) appearance.
    • 1585, John Aylmer, “A necessarie and godly prayer appoynted by the right reverend Father in God John, Bishop of London to be used throughout all his Dioces upon Sondayes and Frydayes, for the turning away of Gods Wrath,” in Two Forms of Prayer of the Time of Queen Elizabeth, Cambridge University Press, 1876, p. 12,[6]
      We have flattered thee, O Lord, with our tongues, and dissembled in our double hearts like the Israelites, whom thou hast fearfully punished in the sight of all the world, and saluted thee long with Judas kiss; to wit, with a vizard and show of religion, with the gloze of outward profession, drawing near thee with our lips, but our hearts far from thee []
    • 1859, Leander Clark, “Sonnet No. 6” in Kenridge Hall, and Other Poems, Washington: Franklin Philp, p. 72,[7]
      Wear not the mask of Love upon thy face,
      For fear my eye discern; ’twere better veil
      The sweet serenity Love’s eye would trace,
      Than with its gloze to make his visage stale.
    • 1922, Don Marquis, “Savage Portraits, M’Corkle” in Poems and Portraits, Garden City, NY: Doubleday, Page & Co., p. 101,[8]
      Himself, he hints, is ever in the throes
      Of some grim struggle for his Self’s control.
      M’Corkle lies. He never fought. Speech is his rôle.
      He’s putty, and his holiness all gloze.
  4. A specious show, a deceit.


gloze (third-person singular simple present glozes, present participle glozing, simple past and past participle glozed)

  1. (literary) To extenuate, explain away, gloss over.
  2. To use flattering language.
    • 1594, Christopher Marlowe, Edward II, London: William Jones,[11]
      [] looke to see the throne where you should sit,
      To floate in bloud, and at thy wanton head,
      The glozing head of thy base minion throwne.
    • 1674, John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book 9, lines 549-551,[12]
      So gloz’d the Tempter, and his Proem tun’d;
      Into the Heart of Eve his words made way,
    • 1810, Joanna Baillie, The Family Legend, Act 5, Scene 2, pages 126-127.
      As he pretended, struck, then stern and silent,
      Till presently assuming, like his father,
      A courtesy minute and over-studied,
      He glozed us with his thanks:
  3. To smooth over; to palliate by specious explanation.
    • 1860, Isaac Taylor, “Ultimate Civilization” in Ultimate Civilization, and Other Essays, London: Bell & Daldy, p. 37,[13]
      On this ground it is that Christianity works its way in Christianizing a community—if only it have free scope. It does this, not by glozing the evil that is in the world; not by extenuating, or by exaggerating the damage which human nature has sustained; but it does so by raising, in all minds, the ideal of human nature []
    • 1906, E. A. Baker, Introduction to Moll Flanders and Roxana, G. Routledge & Sons (New York), p. xviii,
      …his contempt for every romantic or sentimental motive that would gloze over real causes, and represent the conduct of human beings rather as we would have it to be than as it is…
    • 1937, George Orwell, The Road to Wigan Pier, Part I, Chapter 1,[14]
      The Brookers never called these biscuits biscuits. They always referred to them reverently as ‘cream crackers’—‘Have another cream cracker, Mr Reilly. You’ll like a cream cracker with your cheese’—thus glozing over the fact that there was only cheese for supper.
  4. To give a shine to (something or someone).
    • 1880, Lew Wallace, Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, Book 6, Chapter 2,[15]
      The scanty light glozed them with the glory of day, and, forgetful of pain and thirst and hunger, and of the menace of death, they sank upon the floor and cried, keeping fast hold of each other the while.