Pronunciation Adjective

glib (comparative glibber, superlative glibbest)

  1. Having a ready flow of words but lacking thought or understanding; superficial; shallow.
  2. (dated) Smooth or slippery.
    a sheet of glib ice
  3. Artfully persuasive but insincere in nature; smooth-talking, honey-tongued, silver-tongued.
    a glib tongue; a glib speech
    • c. 1603–1606, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of King Lear”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act I, scene i]:
      I want that glib and oily art, / To speak and purpose not.
Translations Translations Translations Verb

glib (glibs, present participle glibbing; past and past participle glibbed)

  1. (transitive) To make glib.
    • 1628, Joseph Hall (bishop), “Christian Liberty Laid Forth,” in The Works of the Right Reverend Father in God, Joseph Hall, D.D., Volume V, London: Williams & Smith, 1808, p. 366,
      There is a drunken liberty of the Tongue; which, being once glibbed with intoxicating liquor, runs wild through heaven and earth; and spares neither him that is God above, nor those which are called gods on earth.
    • 1671, John Milton, “Book the First”, in Paradise Regain’d. A Poem. In IV Books. To which is Added, Samson Agonistes, London: Printed by J. M[acock] for John Starkey […], OCLC 228732398 ↗, lines 371–376, page 21 ↗:
      And, when to all his Angels he propos'd / To draw the proud king Ahab into fraud, / That he might fall in Ramoth, they demurring, / I undertook that office, and the tongues / Of all his flattering Prophets glibb'd with lyes / To his destruction, as I had in charge.
    • 1730, Edward Strother, Dr. Radcliffe’s Practical Dispensatory, London: C. Rivington, p. 342,
      They are good internally in Fits of the Stone in the Kidneys, by glibbing the Ureters, and making even a large Stone pass with ease […]
    • 1944, Emily Carr, The House of All Sorts, “Gran’s Battle,”
      We were having one of our bitterest cold snaps. Wind due north, shrieking over stiff land; two feet of snow, all substances glibbed with ice and granite-hard.

glib (plural glibs)

  1. (historical) A mass of matted hair worn down over the eyes, formerly worn in Ireland.
    • 1596, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, IV.8:
      Whom when she saw in wretched weedes disguiz'd, / With heary glib deform'd and meiger face, / Like ghost late risen from his grave agryz'd, / She knew him not […].
    • The Irish have, from the Scythians, mantles and long glibs, which is a thick curled bush of hair hanging down over their eyes, and monstrously disguising them.
    • Their wild costume of the glib and mantle.

glib (glibs, present participle glibbing; past and past participle glibbed)

  1. (obsolete) To castrate; to geld; to emasculate.
    • 1623: William Shakespeare, The Winter's Tale, Act II Scene 1
      Fourteen they shall not see
      To bring false generations. They are co-heirs;
      And I had rather glib myself than they
      Should not produce fair issue.

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