Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

shine - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

verb     shine pronunciation in American English
Word Forms
present tense
present participleshining
past tenseshined or shone
past participleshined or shone
  1. 1
    [intransitive] if the sun shines, it produces a bright light and the weather is usually warm
    1. a.
      used about the moon, stars, lights, and other things that produce light

      The headlights of the oncoming cars were shining through the fog.

  2. 2
    [intransitive] to have a bright attractive appearance

    The wooden tables had been polished until they shone.

    1. a.
      [transitive] to rub something until it shines

      Who shined your shoes?

  3. 3
    [intransitive] if people’s eyes or faces shine, they look extremely happy or excited

    The child’s face was shining with excitement.

  4. 4
    [transitive] to make the light from a flashlight or other light shine in a particular direction

    Kobe shone the flashlight slowly around the room.

  5. 5
    [intransitive] to show that you have a lot of skill when you do something

    It’s time we gave some of the younger players a chance to shine.

phrasal verbs

  • Facebook
  • Twitter


to manipulate someone psychologically so that they begin to question their own perceptions and memories

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

Dunning-Kruger effect

the phenomenon by which an incompetent person is too incompetent to understand his own incompetence

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play