Word of the Day: glaucous
glaucous (adjective) GLAW-kus
1 a : of a pale yellow-green color
b : of a light bluish-gray or bluish-white color
2 : having a powdery or waxy coating that gives a frosted appearance and tends to rub off
“Her eyes, a clear, glaucous gray, express unambiguous yearning.” — Amanda Petrusich, The New Yorker, 26 May 2016
“Waxy, hard, hairy and glaucous leaves help prevent water loss.” — Patrice Hanlon,The Mercury News (California), 10 Aug. 2016
Did You Know?
Glaucous came to English—by way of Latin glaucus—from Greek glaukos, meaning “gleaming” or “gray,” and has been used to describe a range of pale colors from a yellow-green to a bluish-gray. The word is often found in horticultural writing describing the pale color of the leaves of various plants as well as the powdery bloom that can be found on some fruits and leaves. The stem glauc- appears in some other English words, the most familiar of which is glaucoma, referring to a disease of the eye that can result in gradual loss of vision. Glauc- also appears in the not-so-familiar glaucope, a word used to describe someone with fair hair and blue eyes (and a companion to cyanope, the term for someone with fair hair and brown eyes).
I doubt I will use this word much. In my research, I found that in current times, glaucous mostly refers to makeup colors, especially eye makeup. Stretching further, I found other images but rarely associated with the word. I did find one synonym for it, opaque, which M-W did not list. Theauraus.com failed to have it in its database. In my experience, this is not unusual, but enlightening.
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