Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Of a pale grayish or bluish green.
  • adj. Botany Covered with a grayish, bluish, or whitish waxy coating or bloom that is easily rubbed off: glaucous leaves.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of a pale green colour with a bluish-grey tinge, especially when covered with a powdery residue.
  • adj. Covered with a bloom or a pale powdery covering, regardless of colour.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of a sea-green color; of a dull green passing into grayish blue.
  • adj. Covered with a fine bloom or fine white powder easily rubbed off, as that on a blue plum, or on a cabbage leaf.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Of a pale, luminous sea-green color; of a bluish green or greenish blue; specifically, in botany and zoology, dull-green passing into grayish-blue.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. having a frosted look from a powdery coating, as on plants

Etymologies

Latin glaucus, from Greek glaukos.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin glaucus, from Ancient Greek γλαυκός (glaukos, "blue-green, blue-grey"). See Irish glas. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The color of the leaves is always more glaucous, that is, of a darker and more bluish green, than is usual in the cauliflowers.

    The Cauliflower

  • Dainty black-legged kittiwakes and glaucous gulls flew in swirling clouds overhead while black-and-white thick-billed and common murres skimmed low across the water, looking like tuxedo-clad squadrons on maneuvers.

    Where Birds Rule the Earth

  • Suddenly, one of the glaucous gulls — a huge white-and-gray predatory bird — snatched a young murre from a ledge, swallowing it whole.

    Where Birds Rule the Earth

  • Piping plovers, difficult to identify gulls which were herrings? glaucous? great black-backed? and arctic terns were always there.

    Bird Cloud

  • All was glaucous green but for her rosy flesh and her long golden hair.

    Portobello

  • The locals, mostly ethnic Pashtuns, had largely supported the Taliban regime, and Najibullah believed that many al Qaeda members, too, had gone into hiding and were being sheltered by villagers in hamlets like the one where we were buying sweets—a cluster of mud-brick and straw huts clinging to the glaucous mountainside.

    Peace Meals

  • “Work is work,” said Helen in a flat voice, staring at the glaucous eye of a sole above its pursed little rubbery lips.

    Naked Cruelty

  • A number of arctic marine mammal and bird species are circumpolar, and are represented by several populations and even subspecies (e.g., the bowhead whale, walrus, bearded seal, ringed seal, herring gull (Larus argentatus), glaucous gull (L. hyperboreus), and kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla)).

    Management and conservation of marine mammals and seabirds in the Arctic

  • It is known that 2,000 glaucous-winged gull eggs were collected in 1999 and again in 2001 from Toporkov Island, where the largest colony of the species exists among the Commander Islands [19].

    Management and conservation of marine mammals and seabirds in the Arctic

  • In Kamchatka, local people collected 4,000 to 5,000 glaucous-winged and black-headed (L. ridibundus) gull eggs annually in the past, but the collection is thought to be negligible currently.

    Management and conservation of marine mammals and seabirds in the Arctic

Comments

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  • Even in the side streets there was evidence of the new régime; twice they were obliged to shelter as police lorries thundered past them laden with glaucous prisoners.
    —Evelyn Waugh, Scoop

    November 16, 2010

  • "For what princely traveller, sojourning here incognito, could they be intended, those plums, glaucous, luminous and spherical as was at that moment the circumfluent sea, those transparent grapes clustering on the shrivelled wood, like a fine day in autumn, those pears of a heavenly ultramarine?"

    -- Within a Budding Grove by Marcel Proust, translated by C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin, Revised by D.J. Enright, pp 377-378 of the Modern Library paperback edition

    April 26, 2008