[ gloom ]
See synonyms for: gloomgloomedglooming on

  1. total or partial darkness; dimness.

  2. a state of melancholy or depression; low spirits.

  1. a despondent or depressed look or expression.

verb (used without object)
  1. to appear or become dark, dim, or somber.

  2. to look sad, dismal, or dejected; frown.

verb (used with object)
  1. to fill with gloom; make gloomy or sad; sadden.

  2. 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

Other words for gloom

Opposites for gloom

Other words from gloom

  • gloomful, adjective
  • gloom·ful·ly, adverb
  • gloomless, adjective
  • outgloom, verb (used with object)
  • un·der·gloom, noun
  • un·gloom, verb (used with object) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use gloom in a sentence

  • Jefferson, one agonizing state short of victory, saw “dismay and gloom.”

  • Standing heroic on the soil that gave her birth she marks with glooming brows the madness of the nations.

    The Affable Stranger | Peter McArthur
  • Bridge and saw the ministers glooming down from the Mound in a dense Assembly fog.

  • Then he posed industriously to himself, and tried hard to do some more glooming, but it was difficult work.

    Blazed Trail Stories | Stewart Edward White
  • During the interim Severne had found that his glooming was becoming altogether too realistic for his peace of mind.

    Blazed Trail Stories | Stewart Edward White
  • He peered a little anxiously into the rapidly glooming vistas.

    Under the Law | Edwina Stanton Babcock

British Dictionary definitions for gloom


/ (ɡluːm) /

  1. partial or total darkness

  2. a state of depression or melancholy

  1. an appearance or expression of despondency or melancholy

  2. poetic a dim or dark place

  1. (intr) to look sullen or depressed

  2. to make or become dark or gloomy

Origin of gloom

C14 gloumben to look sullen; related to Norwegian dialect glome to eye suspiciously

Derived forms of gloom

  • gloomful, adjective
  • gloomfully, adverb
  • gloomless, adjective

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