\ 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 Some have accused the senator, who has a reputation as a shapeshifter, of opportunism — of glomming onto the populism unleashed by Trump. David Scharfenberg,, "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 |, 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 Too often, meme creators are left in the lurch while corporations glom onto their work and use it to sell products without giving the creator a cut. Julie Muncy, WIRED, "Why the Momo Challenge Film Might Beat the Meme Movie Curse," 12 July 2019 In the last few orbits around each other before glomming together into a bigger neutron star or a black hole, the pair are wracked by enormous gravitational tides. Quanta Magazine, "A New Blast May Have Forged Cosmic Gold," 23 Mar. 2017 Coaches get multimillion-dollar salaries; universities collectively glom onto billions of dollars from television deals, booster donations and rentals of luxury boxes at campus stadiums, the costs of which are reaching toward a half-billion dollars. Michael Hiltzik,, "NCAA threatens California over pay for college athletes — and loses the battle," 28 June 2019 What Cavallarin realized, and what hackers have since glommed on to, is that Gatekeeper doesn’t treat all files equally. Brian Barrett, WIRED, "Hackers Are Poking at a MacOS Flaw Apple Left Unfixed," 26 June 2019 At least three times in our planet's 4.54-billion-year history, the ever-shifting landmasses glommed into mighty supercontinents, only to eventually reverse course and break apart. National Geographic, "A tectonic plate may have peeled apart—and that could shrink the Atlantic Ocean," 6 May 2019

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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Statistics for glom

Time Traveler for glom

The first known use of glom was in 1907

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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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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).


concealed or difficult to comprehend

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