Try Our Apps


Famous Last Words


[gloom] /glum/
total or partial darkness; dimness.
a state of melancholy or depression; low spirits.
a despondent or depressed look or expression.
verb (used without object)
to appear or become dark, dim, or somber.
to look sad, dismal, or dejected; frown.
verb (used with object)
to fill with gloom; make gloomy or sad; sadden.
to make dark or somber.
Origin of gloom
1300-50; Middle English gloumben, glomen to frown, perhaps representing Old English *glūmian (akin to early German gläumen to make turbid); see glum
Related forms
gloomful, adjective
gloomfully, adverb
gloomless, adjective
outgloom, verb (used with object)
undergloom, noun
ungloom, verb (used with object)
1. shadow, shade, obscurity. 2. dejection, despondency, sadness.
1. brightness. 2. cheerfulness. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for glooming
Historical Examples
  • She trailed about the house, glooming; she sank supine under her burden and lay forever on the sofa.

    The Combined Maze May Sinclair
  • But Donny was glooming over his wrongs, and neither heard nor wanted to hear.

    Good Indian B. M. Bower
  • "You will not mention this in letters to your mother," ordered Gallito, glooming at her with fierce eyes.

    The Black Pearl Mrs. Wilson Woodrow
  • "Let us get out of this glooming, and where we can see a rod around us," suggested the jailer.

    Dulcibel Henry Peterson
  • It was a glooming kind of a night, and the cabin looked woefully bleak and solitary.

    The Trail of '98 Robert W. Service
  • The glooming veil was gone from around the ice-shelled man and woman.

    Black Amazon of Mars Leigh Brackett
  • Andrew Blair remained where he was, now glooming at the corpse, now biting his nails and staring at the damp sods at his feet.

  • Anthea found Cyril glooming over his paper boats, and told him.

  • The twilight was glooming to dusk when Silas Crafts came out of the church and locked the door behind him.

    The Quickening Francis Lynde
  • Meanwhile the twilight is glooming upward out of the corners of the room.

British Dictionary definitions for glooming


partial or total darkness
a state of depression or melancholy
an appearance or expression of despondency or melancholy
(poetic) a dim or dark place
(intransitive) to look sullen or depressed
to make or become dark or gloomy
Derived Forms
gloomful, adjective
gloomfully, adverb
gloomless, adjective
Word Origin
C14 gloumben to look sullen; related to Norwegian dialect glome to eye suspiciously
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for glooming


c.1300 as a verb, "to look sullen or displeased," perhaps from Scandinavian (cf. Norwegian dialectal glome "to stare somberly"). Not considered to be related to Old English glom "twilight," but perhaps to Middle Low German glum "turbid," Dutch gluren "to leer." The noun is 1590s in Scottish, "sullen look," from the verb. Sense of "darkness, obscurity" is first recorded 1629 in Milton's poetry; that of "melancholy" is 1744 (gloomy in this sense is attested from 1580s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for gloom

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for glooming

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for glooming