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

Did you know?

It's a classic case of glomming: Americans seized on glaum (a term from Scots dialect that basically means “to grab”) and appropriated it as their own, changing it to glom in the process. Glom first meant “to steal” (as in the purse-snatching, robber kind of stealing), but over time that meaning got stretched to include figurative uses. Today the term is most familiar in the phrase “glom on to,” or “glom onto,” which can mean “to appropriate for one's own use,” as in “glomming on to another's idea”; “to grab hold of,” as in “glommed onto the last cookie”; “to latch on to,” as in “glom on to an opinion” or “glom onto an influential friend”; or “to become aware of,” as in “glomming onto the potential of this new technology.”

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 But like starfish glomming onto rocks, the metaphor took hold in the scientific and public imagination. Lesley Evans Ogden, Smithsonian Magazine, 9 May 2024 Drake is often accused of being a culture vulture, and glomming onto younger artists around the world for relevance. TIME, 7 May 2024 TikTok is now a multibillion-dollar shopping experience — and companies have glommed on. New York Times, 19 Apr. 2024 End of carousel Regina and Reina glommed onto the idea of making a Chisholm biopic — the first, despite the representative’s many accomplishments — in the late aughts. Helena Andrews-Dyer, Washington Post, 25 Mar. 2024 X-Raying the Cosmos After the Big Bang, subtle density variations in the newborn universe gradually became more pronounced as matter particles glommed onto each other. Liz Kruesi, Quanta Magazine, 4 Mar. 2024 Crowding has made the mountain more dangerous over the past 20 years as the commercial mountaineering industry glommed onto the peak. Colleen Grablick, Washington Post, 22 Feb. 2024 The scene crescendos with a moment of Yueh standing before burning palm trees, an image Villeneuve glommed on to for his. Max Evry, WIRED, 4 Mar. 2024 Some new physics models tweak dark energy, adding a surge of cosmic acceleration in the early moments of the universe, before electrons and protons glommed onto each other. Quanta Magazine, 19 Jan. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'glom.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


alteration of English dialect glaum to grab

First Known Use

1907, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of glom was in 1907


Dictionary Entries Near glom

Cite this Entry

“Glom.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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