glue

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English glew, glue, from Old French glu (glue, birdlime), from Late Latin glūs (stem glūt-), from Latin glūten. Related to clay.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ɡluː/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -uː

Noun[edit]

glue (countable and uncountable, plural glues)

  1. A hard gelatin made by boiling bones and hides, used in solution as an adhesive; or any sticky adhesive substance.
    • a. 1393, John Gower, “Tale of Jason and Medea”, in G. C. Macaulay, editor, The English Works of John Gower, volume II, London: Early English Text Society, published 1901, lines 3603–7, page 45:
      Sche tok him thanne a maner glu, / The which was of so great vertu, / That where a man it wolde caste, / It scholde bind anon so faste / That noman mihte it don aweie.
    • 1832 July 1, “Review: Habits of Insects”, in North American Review, volume 35, number 76, JSTOR 25102967, page 217:
      The wasp has always made the paper from which it constructs its nest, by uniting vegetable fibres with glue, while man was vexing himself with attempts to write on the bark of trees or a waxen or metallic table.
    • 1990, Jean Marie Auel, chapter 9, in The Plains of Passage (Earth's Children), New York: Random House, published 2010, →ISBN, page 145:
      During the next few days, while the meat dried, they were both busy. They finished the bowl boat and coated it with the glue Jondalar made by boiling down the hooves, bone, and hide scraps.
  2. (figuratively) Anything that binds two things or people together.
    • 1648, Robert Herrick, “A Kiss”, in Hesperides, London: H. G. Bohn, published 1852, page 159:
      What is a kiss ? Why this, as some approve, / The sure sweet cement, glue, and lime of love.
  3. (obsolete) Birdlime.
    • a. 1384, John Wyclif, “On Dai of Many Martris [On the Day of Many Martyrs]”, in Thomas Arnold, editor, Select English Works of John Wyclif, volume I, Oxford: Clarendon Press, published 1869, page 223:
      Cunne we wel Goddis lawe, and loke wher Fariseis grounden hem in it; and if þei done not, flee we her sentence as heresie or fendis glewe.

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

glue (third-person singular simple present glues, present participle gluing or glueing, simple past and past participle glued)

  1. (transitive) To join or attach something using glue.
    I need to glue the chair-leg back into place.
    • 2014 December 23, Olivia Judson, “The hemiparasite season [print version: Under the hemiparasite, International New York Times, 24–25 December 2014, p. 7]”, in The New York Times[1]:
      [] The flesh [of the mistletoe berry] is sticky, and forms strings and ribbons between my thumb and forefinger. For the mistletoe, this viscous goop – and by the way, viscous comes to English from viscum – is crucial. The stickiness means that, after eating the berries, birds often regurgitate the seeds and then wipe their bills on twigs – leading to the seeds' getting glued to the tree, where they can germinate and begin the cycle anew.
  2. (transitive) To cause something to adhere closely to; to follow attentively.
    His eyes were glued to the screen.
    • 1898, J. Meade Falkner, Moonfleet Chapter 4
      So as I lay on the ground with my ear glued close against the wall, who should march round the church but John Trenchard, Esquire, not treading delicately like King Agag, or spying, but just come on a voyage of discovery for himself.

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Further reading[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


Middle English[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Old French glu.

Noun[edit]

glue

  1. Alternative form of glew (glue).

Etymology 2[edit]

From Old English glīwian.

Verb[edit]

glue

  1. Alternative form of glewen (to play music, have fun).