These verbs mean to send forth light. Flash refers to a sudden and brilliant but short-lived outburst of light: A bolt of lightning flashed across the horizon.Gleam implies transient or constant light that often appears against a dark background: “The light gleams an instant, then it's night once more” (Samuel Beckett). Glance refers most often to light reflected obliquely: Moonlight glanced off the windows of the darkened building.Glint applies to briefly gleaming or flashing light: Rays of sun glinted among the autumn leaves.Sparkle suggests a rapid succession of little flashes of high brilliance (crystal glasses sparkling in the candlelight), and glitter, a similar succession of even greater intensity (jewels glittering in the display case). To glisten is to shine with a sparkling luster: The snow glistened in the dawn light.Shimmer means to shine with a soft, tremulous light: “Everything about her shimmered and glimmered softly, as if her dress had been woven out of candle-beams” (Edith Wharton). Glimmer refers to faint, fleeting light: “On the French coast, the light/Gleams, and is gone; the cliffs of England stand,/Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay” (Matthew Arnold). To twinkle is to shine with quick, intermittent flashes or gleams: “a few stars, twinkling faintly in the deep blue of the night sky” (Hugh Walpole). Scintillate is applied to what flashes as if emitting sparks in a continuous stream: “ammonium chloride . . . depositing minute scintillating crystals on the windowpanes” (Primo Levi).