Etymology: akin to Middle High German glosen to glow, shine; akin to Old English geolu yellow
1. a surface luster or brightness ; shine
a. a deceptively attractive appearance <selfishness that had a gloss of humanitarianism about it> b. bright often superficial attractiveness <show-biz gloss> 3. a transparent cosmetic preparation for adding shine and usually color to the lips II. transitive verb Date: 1656 1. a. to mask the true nature of ; give a deceptively attractive appearance to — used with over <the misery was general, where not glossed over by liberal application of alcohol — Marston Bates> b. to deal with (a subject or problem) too lightly or not at all — used with over <glosses over scholarly controversies rather than confronting them head-on — John Israel> 2. to give a gloss to III. noun Etymology: alteration of gloze, from Middle English glose, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin glosa, glossa, from Greek glōssa, glōtta tongue, language, obscure word; akin to Greek glōchis projecting point Date: 1548 1. a. a brief explanation (as in the margin or between the lines of a text) of a difficult or obscure word or expression b. a false and often willfully misleading interpretation (as of a text) 2. a. glossary b. an interlinear translation c. a continuous commentary accompanying a text 3. commentary, interpretation IV. transitive verb Date: 1603 1. a. to provide a gloss for ; explain, define b. interpret 2. to dispose of by false or perverse interpretation <trying to gloss away the irrationalities of the universe — Irwin Edman>
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.