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[gluhm] /glʌm/
adjective, glummer, glummest.
sullenly or silently gloomy; dejected.
Origin of glum
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English; variant of gloom
Related forms
glumly, adverb
glumness, noun
moody, sulky; despondent, melancholy. Glum, morose, sullen, dour, surly all are adjectives describing a gloomy, unsociable attitude. Glum describes a depressed, spiritless condition or manner, usually temporary rather than habitual: a glum shrug of the shoulders; a glum, hopeless look in his eye. Morose, which adds to glum a sense of bitterness, implies a habitual and pervasive gloominess: a sour, morose manner; morose withdrawal from human contact. Sullen usually implies reluctance or refusal to speak accompanied by glowering looks expressing anger or a sense of injury: a sullen manner, silence, look. Dour refers to a stern and forbidding aspect, stony and unresponsive: dour rejection of friendly overtures. Surly implies gruffness of speech and manner, usually accompanied by an air of injury and ill temper: a surly reply. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for glumly
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Thorvald shook his head, scanning the rock face before them glumly.

    Storm Over Warlock Andre Norton
  • John raised the diminutive perch into the air and regarded it glumly.

    A Son of the City

    Herman Gastrell Seely
  • Kutuzov, his hands still pressed on the seat, glanced at him glumly.

    War and Peace Leo Tolstoy
  • He was convinced that the entire ticket-buying cue was glumly resenting him.

    Free Air Sinclair Lewis
  • "Guess I'll quirl me a brownie and git into the feathers," glumly.

    The Dude Wrangler

    Caroline Lockhart
  • "How would I know," said Banner, glumly staring into his drink.

    Unspecialist Murray F. Yaco
  • But the cleric stared at her glumly, forbiddingly, and resumed his story at a gesture.

    Irish Fairy Tales James Stephens
British Dictionary definitions for glumly


adjective glummer, glummest
silent or sullen, as from gloom
Derived Forms
glumly, adverb
glumness, noun
Word Origin
C16: variant of gloom
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
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Word Origin and History for glumly



1540s, "sullen, frowning," from Middle English gloumen (v.) "become dark" (c.1300), later gloumben "look gloomy or sullen" (late 14c.); see gloom. Related: Glumly; glumness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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