\ ˈgläm How to pronounce glom (audio) \
glommed; glomming

Definition of glom

glom on to
: to grab hold of : appropriate to oneself glommed on to her ideas

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Synonyms & Antonyms for glom



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It's a classic case of glomming: Americans seized on glaum (a term from Scots dialect that basically means "grab") and appropriated it as our own, changing it to glom in the process. Glom first meant "steal" (as in the purse-snatching, robber kind of stealing), but over time that meaning got stretched. Today, glom often figuratively extends that original "steal" sense. A busy professional might glom a weekend getaway, for example. Glom also appears frequently in the phrase glom on to, which can mean "to appropriate for one's own use" ("glom on to another's idea"); "to grab hold of" ("glom on to the last cookie"); or "to latch on to" ("glom on to an opinion" or "glom on to an influential friend").

Examples of glom in a Sentence

the manager glommed the shoplifter just as she was about to bolt out of the store
Recent Examples on the Web The East End, once the ultimate place for Klipspringers to glom on to Gatsbys and post geotagged Instagrams by their guesthouses, seemed to be more like the closed-door Maidstone Club: for members only. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Life After Lockdown: The Hamptons Are Buzzing Again," 13 July 2020 How important can a movement be, it’s often been asked, if the most heinous corporations and institutions in the world can glom onto it and earn praise for meaningless statements and gestures? Osita Nwanevu, The New Republic, "The Willful Blindness of Reactionary Liberalism," 6 July 2020 Once a germ is detected, neutralizing antibodies can glom onto the germ and prevent it from sparking an infection. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "China moves forward with COVID-19 vaccine, approving it for use in military," 30 June 2020 But some antibodies that glom onto the spike protein appear to thwart this cellular invasion. Cynthia Dizikes,, "SARS antibodies block coronavirus infections, study shows," 11 June 2020 The host molecules that viruses glom on to, which are called receptors, tend to be highly variable from one species to the next, Sawyer says. Lynn Johnson, National Geographic, "See the Full Archive," 15 Apr. 2020 Hardy enough to persist for several days outside the pig body, the virus clung to clothes and glommed onto the soles of shoes. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "A Coronavirus Spread Through U.S. Pigs in 2013. Here’s How It Was Stopped," 10 Apr. 2020 But only ice appears sticky enough to glom together into moonlets properly, according to the new work, so future models may be able to focus on fleshing out the icier scenarios. Charlie Wood, Popular Science, "Did Uranus get smacked so hard it spun sideways?," 9 Apr. 2020 Pro-Trump groups have glommed onto the baseless allegations. TheWeek, "Dr. Anthony Fauci, America's top coronavirus expert, now has bodyguards," 2 Apr. 2020

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

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First Known Use of glom

1907, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for glom

alteration of English dialect glaum to grab

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Last Updated

25 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Glom.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Aug. 2020.

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How to pronounce glom (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of glom

US, informal : to take or get (something)

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