noun: an open space surrounded by woods
“Whenever they got a glimpse of the sun in an open glade they seemed unaccountably to have veered eastwards.” — From J.R.R. Tolkien’s 1954 book The Fellowship of the Ring
“On the surface—sylphs and a poet in a moonlit glade before a ruined abbey—’Sylphides’ looks quaint, a study in preciosity; but the lovely construction of its dances renders its poetry fresh.” — From a review by Alastair Macaulay in The New York Times, November 4, 2013
Did you know?
We know that “glade” has been with us since at least the early 1500s, though the word’s origins remain a bit of a mystery. “Glade,” which originally was often used not just to indicate a clearing in the woods but one which was also filled with sunlight, may come from the adjective “glad.” In Middle English, “glad” also meant “shining,” a meaning that goes back to the word’s Old English ancestor, “glæd.” “Glæd” is akin to Old High German “glat” (“shining, smooth”) and Old Norse “glathr” (“sunny”). It may also be a relative of Old English “geolu,” the ancestor of the modern English word “yellow.”