adjective, glum·mer, glum·mest.

sullenly or silently gloomy; dejected.

Origin of glum

1425–75; late Middle English; variant of gloom
Related formsglum·ly, adverbglum·ness, noun

Synonyms for glum

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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for glum

Contemporary Examples of glum

Historical Examples of glum

  • That's because you don't know what a glum old grouch I really am.


    Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius

  • But, as she still retained her glum expression, My-Boots again did the gallant.


    Emile Zola

  • When Laurent entered the shop, he found her glum, her nose longer, her lips thinner.

    Therese Raquin

    Emile Zola

  • Makes me glum, and 'tain't my money that's bein' talked out of me, nuther.

    Fair Harbor

    Joseph Crosby Lincoln

  • The partners, Shadrach and Zoeth, were no longer silent and glum.


    Joseph C. Lincoln

British Dictionary definitions for glum


adjective glummer or glummest

silent or sullen, as from gloom
Derived Formsglumly, adverbglumness, noun

Word Origin for glum

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

Word Origin and History for glum

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