\ ˈdüm How to pronounce doom (audio) \

Definition of doom

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a law or ordinance especially in Anglo-Saxon England
2a : judgment, decision especially : a judicial condemnation or sentence
3a : destiny especially : unhappy destiny
b : death, ruin


doomed; dooming; dooms

Definition of doom (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to give judgment against : condemn
2a : to fix the fate of : destine felt he was doomed to a life of loneliness
b : to make certain the failure or destruction of the scandal doomed her chances for election

Keep scrolling for more

Choose the Right Synonym for doom


fate, destiny, lot, portion, doom mean a predetermined state or end. fate implies an inevitable and usually an adverse outcome. the fate of the submarine is unknown destiny implies something foreordained and often suggests a great or noble course or end. the country's destiny to be a model of liberty to the world lot and portion imply a distribution by fate or destiny, lot suggesting blind chance it was her lot to die childless , portion implying the apportioning of good and evil. remorse was his daily portion doom distinctly implies a grim or calamitous fate. if the rebellion fails, his doom is certain

Examples of doom in a Sentence

Noun The papers are filled with stories of gloom and doom. the story of a mysterious creature who lures travelers to their doom Verb A criminal record will doom your chances of becoming a politician. had always felt that he was doomed to remain single forever
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun On March 14, my husband escaped upstate with our daughter and his parents, partly to protect them, partly to get space from an encroaching feeling of doom. Sylvia Poggioli, The New York Review of Books, "Pandemic Journal, March 23–29," 29 Mar. 2020 Just like that, there's a bit less doom and gloom surrounding the club., "Aaron Wan-Bissaka Becomes First Man Utd Player in 7 Years to Achieve Defensive Stat," 28 Oct. 2019 However, the study isn't all doom and gloom, as the authors also note that America has made tremendous progress over 150 years in land conservation and passing the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act to safeguard air and water for its citizens. Fox News, "America loses a football field's worth of natural space every 30 seconds: report," 8 Aug. 2019 Traditionally, a higher unemployment rate spells doom for an incumbent president. Joseph Simonson, Washington Examiner, "Can a president win reelection with historically high unemployment?," 30 Apr. 2020 The great powers—the US on one side, China and the Soviet Union on the other—were spelling out the terms of Korea’s doom, just as surely as Japan had earlier in the century. Ed Park, The New York Review of Books, "Like No One They’d Ever Seen," 8 Apr. 2020 At least half a dozen friends, including Mary, brought home new puppies, providing spots of sunshine in an otherwise bleakly monotonous scroll of doom, gloom, and ruin. Connie Wang,, "The Pure Positivity Of A Quarantine Dog," 27 Mar. 2020 Bob Bowlsby’s job title is Big 12 commissioner not prophet of doom. Chuck Carlton, Dallas News, "Bob Bowlsby says Big 12 will compensate schools for money lost from spring sport cancellations," 27 Mar. 2020 The Beast in the Jungle (1903), one of his younger brother Henry James's most famous stories, describes a man too preoccupied with a sense of doom to love. TheWeek, "How William James encourages us to believe in the possible," 2 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Tepid measures to tag onto the Iditarod suffered the same fate as any half-hearted effort and were doomed to failure. John Schandelmeier, Anchorage Daily News, "As it struggles with money woes and dwindling interest, the Yukon Quest needs support from Alaskans," 23 May 2020 If aviation emissions were capped at the levels likely to be seen in 2020, the industry would be doomed. The Economist, "Fighting climate change The world urgently needs to expand its use of carbon prices," 23 May 2020 Dönitz was doomed not to rule a new Germany, but rather to orchestrate its dissolution. Erin Blakemore, National Geographic, "Why Germany surrendered twice in World War II," 6 May 2020 Losers are inevitably doomed by their own negativity, of which germs are a physical form. Fintan O’toole, The New York Review of Books, "Vector in Chief," 29 Apr. 2020 But if symptoms did show, the entire freight car was essentially doomed, given the disease's staggering near 100% mortality rate. Paul French, CNN, "In 1911, another epidemic swept through China. That time, the world came together," 18 Apr. 2020 Further Reading Even with the Google/Fossil deal, Wear OS is doomedOther specs include a 1.39-inch 454×454 OLED display, a 430mAh battery, Wi-Fi, NFC, GPS, water resistance, and a heart-rate sensor. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "New $1,800 TAG Heuer smartwatch is the price of four Apple Watches," 12 Mar. 2020 The economy is doomed to recession if the country stops working and takes the next 30 days off. Washington Post, "`It gets worse’: Stocks plummet again over coronavirus fears," 12 Mar. 2020 Even if that government had fallen after eight years, the coal plants were already doomed by then. Matt Simon, Wired, "Want to Fight Climate Change? Stop Believing These Myths," 7 Feb. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'doom.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of doom


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for doom


Middle English, from Old English dōm; akin to Old High German tuom condition, state, Old English dōn to do

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about doom

Time Traveler for doom

Time Traveler

The first known use of doom was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for doom

Last Updated

25 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Doom.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 May. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for doom


How to pronounce doom (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of doom

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: very bad events or situations that cannot be avoided
: death or ruin



English Language Learners Definition of doom (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make (someone or something) certain to fail, suffer, die, etc.


\ ˈdüm How to pronounce doom (audio) \

Kids Definition of doom

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a terrible or unhappy ending or happening The news is full of doom and gloom.
2 : death sense 1 He met his doom.


doomed; dooming

Kids Definition of doom (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make sure that something bad will happen The plan was doomed to failure.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on doom

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for doom

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with doom

Spanish Central: Translation of doom

Nglish: Translation of doom for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of doom for Arabic Speakers

Comments on doom

What made you want to look up doom? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!