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 formsgloom·ful, adjectivegloom·ful·ly, adverbgloom·less, adjectiveout·gloom, verb (used with object)un·der·gloom, nounun·gloom, verb (used with object)

Synonyms for gloom

Antonyms for gloom Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for glooming

Historical Examples of glooming

  • But Donny was glooming over his wrongs, and neither heard nor wanted to hear.

    Good Indian

    B. M. Bower

  • And instead of glooming life, it because it is the power of love.

  • "Let us get out of this glooming, and where we can see a rod around us," suggested the jailer.


    Henry Peterson

  • The Barone, glooming in an obscure corner of the conservatory, saw them come in.

  • Marian, coming in a few minutes later, found her glooming there still.

    Chicken Little Jane

    Lily Munsell Ritchie

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


(intr) to look sullen or depressed
to make or become dark or gloomy
Derived Formsgloomful, adjectivegloomfully, adverbgloomless, adjective

Word Origin for gloom

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

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