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gleam in (one's) eye

1. A facial expression that denotes happiness, amusement, or knowledge of a secret. Just when Rita thought all hope was lost, Jared got a gleam in his eye that told her he had a plan to get them both out of that sticky situation.
2. A hope or plan that is not yet in existence. You were not even a gleam in your mother's eye when that photo was taken.
See also: eye, gleam

gleam with (something)

To shimmer or twinkle with something. Katie's engagement ring looked especially stunning as it gleamed with sunlight. Lydia's eyes gleamed with emotion as she listened to the toast in her honor.
See also: gleam
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

gleam with something

to sparkle or shine with something. The crystal goblets gleamed with the sparkling candlelight. The glass gleamed with a bright reflection.
See also: gleam
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

a twinkle in someone's eye


a gleam in someone's eye

If a plan or project is only a twinkle in or a gleam in someone's eye, it is only at the stage of being considered as a possibility. Projects that a few years back were just a twinkle in the planners' eyes are now bricks and cement. At this point, space-launched weapons were still only a gleam in his eye. Note: You can also talk about a glint in someone's eye. The European central bank was still no more than a glint in its creators' eyes. Note: Words such as gleam, glint and twinkle can be used to describe the way people's eyes shine or reflect the light. They often suggest hidden energy, emotion, or humour and refer to the excitement of having a particular idea before putting it into practice.
See also: eye, twinkle
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

a gleam (or twinkle) in someone's eye

1 a barely formed idea. 2 a child who has not yet been conceived. humorous
See also: eye, gleam

a twinkle in someone's eye

something that is still in the pre-planning stage and on which no action has yet been taken, especially a child not as yet conceived. informal
See also: eye, twinkle
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
Nowhere else can you get a gorgeous glowing complexion and flawless sexy gleaming legs all with one product.
The actual lyric is: "Jules Rimet still gleaming." It's a reference to the Jules Rimet trophy - the original name of theWorld Cuptrophy - which the English team won back in 1966.
The 1.8 litre turbocharged Rover K-Series engine is gleaming.
I note that David's column made a point about that PS5m, saying it equated to only PS14-a-head on street cleansing as opposed to "gleaming" Paris which was spending PS58-a-year per head (in 1991 according to the column).
& of outer space gleaming pluto & mars big Jupiter & the sea
IT WAS petrol-head heaven as more than PS6 million worth of gleaming supermotors gathered in Small Heath.
The Gleaming System is designed to scavenge unused resources and to allocate them to the scientific workloads.
Departs January& February 2015 Rest and relax on a luxurious 14-night cruise, taking in the very best of coastal Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand, and enjoy stays in two of Asia's most vibrant island-cities - pulsating Hong Kong where ancient and ultra-modern worlds collide, and gleaming Singapore, with its hypnotic mix of Chinese, Malay and British influences.
The autobiography covers early childhood under the British flag; manhood's gleam in boyish eyes; in the footsteps of Ajayi Crowther; the gleaming spires of Oxford; home pastures; America and new found lands; West African travels; all Freetown is a stage; books, words, and causes; and twilight and evening bell.
Mary Recites the Alphabet Always beside chaperone, dainty ewe, fleece gleaming hoarfrost,
I have learned to hate those individuals who harangue you to part with shedloads of cash to enter a draw for a gleaming, limited edition sports car.
WITH immaculate cabinets, gleaming accessories and shiny pans in neat lines, the Cameron's Downing Street flat looks every inch the modern showhome.
Gordon Elliott, trainer of Gleaming Silver and Laureldeans Best "We're hoping Gleaming Silver will show more than on her hurdling debut, but the ground is a big worry.
Booed by the audience, the girls said to Natalie, standing in for pregnant Dannii Minogue: "Who are ya?" They snarled: "You're an old man" at Louis, who was showing off gleaming white teeth thanks to dental work recommended by Simon.