glom

verb
\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for glom

Synonyms

Antonyms

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Did You Know?

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 Ideally, each phage in a cocktail will glom on to a different receptor, so if bacteria evolve resistance to one virus in the mixture, other viruses will keep up the attack. Charles Schmidt, Scientific American, "Phage Therapy Could Beat Drug-Resistant Illnesses," 1 Nov. 2019 The best way to prevent things from glomming up is to be hyper-vigilant while cooking. Jesse Sparks, Bon Appétit, "How To Cook Perfectly Slurpable Soba Noodles," 30 Oct. 2019 Young made an Instagram account for Pumpkin shortly after her rescue in December 2014, and fans quickly glommed on for a daily dose of raccoon hijinks. Scottie Andrew, CNN, "Pumpkin, the most popular raccoon on Instagram, has died," 30 Oct. 2019 Tiny bits and pieces may glom onto bigger bits and pieces, forming tar balls. Washington Post, "Thousands of barrels of oil are contaminating Brazil’s pristine coastline. Authorities don’t know where it’s coming from.," 22 Oct. 2019 And given the eagerness with which Trump and his cronies have glommed onto some of these lines of attack, most especially with Biden and Ukraine, there’s little reason to think that Giuliani’s efforts across Eastern Europe will stop anytime soon. Casey Michel, The New Republic, "Rudy Giuliani’s Year of Living Dangerously," 26 Sep. 2019 Some have accused the senator, who has a reputation as a shapeshifter, of opportunism — of glomming onto the populism unleashed by Trump. David Scharfenberg, BostonGlobe.com, "How Donald Trump just might save the Republican Party — and the country," 6 Sep. 2019 Other, also-ran fast-food chicken-sammie sellers tried to glom on. Matt Wake | Mwake@al.com, al, "Chick-fil-A vs. Popeyes: The sandwich showdown," 21 Aug. 2019 On teeth, on pipes, on rocks and in the ocean, microbes glom together by the billions and build sticky organic superstructures around themselves. Quanta Magazine, "Bacteria Use Brainlike Bursts of Electricity to Communicate," 5 Sep. 2017

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about glom

Statistics for glom

Last Updated

21 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for glom

The first known use of glom was in 1907

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for glom

glom

verb
How to pronounce glom (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of glom

US, informal : to take or get (something)

More from Merriam-Webster on glom

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for glom

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with glom

Comments on glom

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

WORD OF THE DAY

strength of mind

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Pass the Little Ribbons: A Pasta Word Quiz

  • pasta resembling wheels with spokes
  • Match the pasta to its meaning in English: Rotelle
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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