\ 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

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 "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, resulting in figurative uses. Today we might say, for example, that a busy professional gloms a weekend getaway. 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 Should the animal later encounter the actual version of the virus, its antibodies would know to glom onto these sites, stopping the virus from entering cells. Wired, 28 July 2022 Most studies measure how well a COVID vaccine triggers the production of neutralizing antibodies, which glom onto the COVID-causing coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and keep it from getting into cells. Esther Landhuis, Scientific American, 28 Apr. 2022 Along with other waste, those oils glom into fatbergs, giant greasy masses that clog sewer systems and lead to overflows and contamination. Sarah Jampel, Bon Appétit, 7 Apr. 2022 Those looking for something more to worry about found any number of wild claims to glom on to. ELLE, 4 Apr. 2022 It is all meant to be a very gregarious experience with food that just about everybody can glom onto with enormous pleasure and leave happy. John Mariani, Forbes, 30 Sep. 2021 Not every show of authenticity is an invitation to glom on. Bradley Akubuiro, Forbes, 4 Oct. 2021 Companies have had a long history of modifying their names to glom onto the latest investment craze, even when their actual operations had little to do with the re-brand. John Detrixhe, Quartz, 5 Aug. 2021 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 See More

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.

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

7 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Glom.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Sep. 2022.

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