Most dictionaries that I have checked give a definition for the adjectives given in the title when they describe eyes, however it is always something like "When eyes X, they shine in a way that expresses a particular emotion". Therefore, I am wondering if these adjectives have different connotations when they describe eyes, as perceived by a native or some who's studied English.

1 Answer 1


A glint or a gleam in somebody's eye means that somebody has a secret- maybe something that amuses you.

A glimmer is a very dim light, so when it is used about somebody's eye, it maybe means that they barely understand something, or feel only a very slight emotion.

A glitter or sparkle in somebody's eye suggests that they express a strong feeling.

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