Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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GLENT, v., n. See also Glint.

I. v., intr. Strong pa.t. ¶glant; weak pa.t. glented, -it.

1. To gleam, glint, shine, sparkle (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Sh.10, Cai.7, Slg.3, Wgt., Rxb., Uls.4 1952). Also in n.Eng. dial. Sc. 1728  Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) II. 139:
Phoebus well pleas'd, shines from the blew Serene, Glents on the Stream, and guilds the checquer'd Green.
Edb. 1773  R. Fergusson Poems (1925) 73:
Whan flowers and gowans wont to glent In bonny blinks upo' the bent.
Bch. 1804  W. Tarras Poems 6:
Or whan the simmer glant wi' nature braw . . . He aft wad trystit's a' to tak a rest.
Fif. 1811  C. Gray Poems 46:
Her rays . . . glented 'mang the trees.
Rxb. 1847  J. Halliday Rustic Bard 199:
'Twas but a sternie glentin' On a pool that night.
Abd. 1893  G. Macdonald Songs 12:
A star-beam glents frae yer ee, Nannie.
Clc. 1902  J. Christie Poems 137:
Adoon yon wimplin' siller burn, Whaur gowans glent fu' braw.

Comb.: †glentin stanes, “small white stones struck or rubbed against each other by children, to strike fire, which they emit accompanied with a smell resembling that of sulphur” (Dmf. 1825 Jam.).

2. (1) To move quickly, to flash (by) (Sh.10 1954); “to pass suddenly; applied to a gleam of light, as a flash of lightning, or any thing that resembles it” (Sc. 1808 Jam.); (2) to glance, strike obliquely. (1) Edb. 1791  J. Learmont Poems 12:
A wrath did glent afore her ein, Swift as the lichtens fly.
Dmf. 1817  W. Caesar Poems 150:
Aye, lass, she can flee frae them glentin'.
Sc. 1819  Scott Bride of Lamm. ix.:
I could but see them glent by wi' their bridles ringing, and their feathers fluttering, like the court of Elfland.
Hdg. 1887  Mod. Sc. Poets X. 334:
The lichtnin' glents zigzag.
(2) Rxb. 1951  per
The stane just glented off the side o' the wundae.

3. To take a sidelong glance; to peep; to squint (Abd. 1790 A. Shirrefs Poems, Gl.; Sh.10 1954). Also in Eng. dial. Sc. 1787  W. Taylor Sc. Poems 176:
An' close-mou' Lasses wont to glent, As blinkin gowans o' the bent.
Kcb. 1789  D. Davidson Seasons 27:
Now, through the wattled stakes wi' glentin look, He peeps upo' his prey.
Rxb. 1847  J. Halliday Rustic Bard 319:
An' whyles ne'er a word he can find oot to say, For glentin' an' glimin' at Meggie M'Givelry.
Rxb. 1923  Watson W.-B., obsol.:
What ir ee glentin' at?

4. tr. Of the eyes: (1) to flash (fire) (Sh.10 1954); (2) to cast (the eye) (Id.). (1) Fif. 1827  W. Tennant Papistry 154:
Ae Lollard man got ere he wist A lounder frae a Papish fist, That garr'd his een glent fire.
(2) Rxb. 1830  in Border Mag. (1881) II. 126:
Glentin' . . . his restless eye roond him.

II. n. 1. (1) A gleam, a flash (of light) (Sh.10, Rxb.5 1954). Also in n.Eng. dial. Sc. 1728  Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) II. 148:
Unlockt the Barn, clam up the Mou, Where was an Opening near the Hou, Throw whilk he saw a Glent of Light.
Wgt. 1877  G. Fraser Sketches 209:
'Twas an eerie nicht, an' the storm-cluds lower'd An, the lichtnin's glent was keen.
Abd. 1910  Abd. Jnl. N. & Q. III. 26:
An' glents wad be gleamin' an flichterin' around.
Rxb. 1923  Watson W.-B.:
The glent o' siller.

Hence glentie, adj., glistening (Rxb. 1942 Zai).

(2) fig. in phr. in a glent, in a flash, in a moment (Sh.10 1954). Abd. p.1768  A. Ross Works (S.T.S.) 202:
Out thro' the trees she scours wi' a' her might, An' in a glent she's safe an' out o' sight.
Per. 1802  S. Kerr Poems 24:
I wisht them a' ayont Dumblane, For in a glent, baith chiels war gane.
Kcb. 1848  J. Hughan Poems 13:
Behind their han' just in a glent.

2. (1) A look, a glance (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Sh., Dmf., Slk. 1954); (2) a glimpse, a transient view (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Bwk. 1942 Wettstein; Sh., Wgt., Rxb., Slk. 1954). Common in Eng. dial. (1) Gall. 1796  J. Lauderdale Poems 21:
. . . ne'er a cuif Durst cast his eye, to gie a glent Up to the roof.
s.Sc. 1834  Wilson's Tales of the Borders I. 17:
While Peter . . . giving a scowling glent at the stammerer, would give a sort of significant nod to his fist.
Abd. 1871  W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xlvi.:
Peter gya a kin' o' a skair't glent.
Dmf. 1915  J. L. Waugh Betty Grier 145:
A' I was conscious o' was the kindly glent o' twae big dark een.
Sc. 1928  J. G. Horne Lan'wart Loon 18:
He wusht for warlock wings to flee, Cuist ae last glent athort the sea.
(2) Rxb. 1923  Watson W.-B.:
A got a glent o'd.

3. A glancing blow, a slap (Dmf. 1954). Dmf. 1825  Jam.:
I'll tak ye a glent below the haffets.
e.Gall. 1912  Trans. Dmf. & Gall. Antiq. Soc. 291:
A glent on the chafts.

[Mid.Eng. has glent(e), in senses 1., 2. and 3. of the v. and 2. of the n. Cf. Sw. dial. glänta, to slip by, to glide, cogn. with Eng. glance.]

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"Glent v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 Feb 2019 <>



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