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

  • adj. Performed with a natural, offhand ease: glib conversation.
  • adj. Showing little thought, preparation, or concern: a glib response to a complex question.
  • adj. Marked by ease and fluency of speech or writing that often suggests or stems from insincerity, superficiality, or deceitfulness.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Having a ready flow of words but lacking thought or understanding; superficial; shallow.
  • adj. Smooth or slippery.
  • adj. Artfully persuasive in nature.
  • v. To castrate; to geld; to emasculate.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Smooth; slippery.
  • adj. Speaking or spoken smoothly and with flippant rapidity; fluent; voluble
  • n. A thick lock of hair, hanging over the eyes.
  • transitive v. To make glib.
  • transitive v. To castrate; to geld; to emasculate.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To run smoothly; move freely, as the tongue.
  • To make smooth; cause to run smoothly, as the tongue; make glib.
  • Smooth; slippery: as, ice is glib.
  • Running smoothly or sleekly; plausibly voluble: as, a glib tongue.
  • To castrate.
  • n. A bushy head of hair, formerly common among the Irish. See the extracts.
  • n. A man wearing such a bush of hair.

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

  • adj. having only superficial plausibility
  • adj. artfully persuasive in speech
  • adj. marked by lack of intellectual depth


Possibly of Low German origin; see ghel-2 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Probably modification of Low German glibberig (slippery). (Wiktionary)
Compare Old English and dialect lib to castrate, geld, Danish dialect live, Low German and Old Dutch lubben. (Wiktionary)



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  • Thank you! Now I need a word to remember your quotations. Maybe glib?

    October 21, 2008

  • Or you can use a techie (GLib) reference, but interpret in the usual sense:
    "Why o' why glib? Don't you know that glib abort()s when memory allocation fails?"

    October 21, 2008

  • How about this:

    "What is the question now placed before society with the glib assurance which to me is most astonishing? That question is this: Is man an ape or an angel? I, my lord, I am on the side of the angels. I repudiate with indignation and abhorrence those new fangled theories." -- Benjamin Disraeli, 1864

    October 21, 2008

  • Well, you made me go look it up and I discover Dutch originsā€¦
    1. ready and fluent, often thoughtlessly or insincerely so: glib speakers; a glib tongue.
    2. easy, as action or manner. glibberig'>backformation from obsolete glibbery slippery, from Dutch glibberig

    Would "glibbery slippery" be sufficient to help you remember?

    October 21, 2008

  • I need a quotation to remember the meaning of this word. Help!

    October 21, 2008