\ 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 Braun plays Derrek as a version of Cousin Greg without the rich family to glom onto — an embodiment of cuckolded, ineffectual frustration. Alison Willmore, Vulture, 30 June 2021 The reinforcements glom together into a clot that staunches the flow. Megan Molteni, STAT, 24 Apr. 2021 The role of these antibodies is to glom onto the virus and prevent it from infecting cells. Kate Baggaley, Popular Science, 8 Jan. 2021 But there’s a long tradition of spoofing laughably bad writing, and so why not glom onto it? Washington Post, 17 Dec. 2020 During these events, neutrons glom onto heavy nuclei to build even heavier nuclei, some of which then blast out into the wider cosmos. Marcus Woo, Scientific American, 17 Nov. 2020 Some antibodies glom on to the specific bit of the spike protein used to interact with ACE2, effectively blocking it from infecting cells. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, 24 Aug. 2020 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, 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, 6 July 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

14 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Glom.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Aug. 2021.

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More Definitions for glom



English Language Learners Definition of glom

US, informal : to take or get (something)


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