\ˈglüm \
gloomed; glooming; glooms

Definition of gloom 

(Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to look, feel, or act sullen or despondent

2 : to be or become overcast

3 : to loom up dimly

transitive verb

: to make dark, murky, or somber : make gloomy



Definition of gloom (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : partial or total darkness

b : a dark or shadowy place

2a : lowness of spirits : dejection

b : an atmosphere of despondency a gloom fell over the household

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Examples of gloom in a Sentence


we just sat there, glooming, as we waited and waited for our dinners to arrive he continued to gloom over the fact that he had been passed over for promotion to district manager


The painting captures the gloom of a foggy night. He walked away, disappearing into the gloom. the gloom of the forest He was often subject to periods of gloom. A cloud of gloom has descended over the city.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

New wavers like Depeche Mode knit the supposedly frivolous and fey sounds of disco into their gloom. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "What Linkin Park Gave to Pop Music," 25 June 2018 Not all is gloom and doom for someone who has suffered a stroke. Kevin Sheth, Washington Post, "Too many people die from strokes because treatment is delayed," 8 Apr. 2018 Inside, the diamond bright sun is replaced with the retro gloom of this time capsule, where waiters still slam dishes on tables, and the cuisine has resisted every food trend of the last 25 years. Mary Kaye Schilling, Town & Country, "Whit Stillman On Directing Jane Austen," 27 Apr. 2016 Back in March, forecasts of severe doom and gloom went viral on Facebook (but had absolutely no credibility). Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Hurricane season begins in two weeks, but hype season is in full swing," 15 May 2018 While The Handmaid’s Tale is already so bleak its star is tired of hearing about all the doom and gloom, the Hulu drama still managed to outdo itself in the devastatingly dark department with last week’s cliffhanger ending., "A Handmaid's Tale Star Takes Us Inside That Cringeworthy Baby Shower," 9 May 2018 The fact that its storylines often coincided with the news cycle made the prospect of escape from Gilead the only slant of light in the gloom. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "A Maddening Season Finale for The Handmaid’s Tale," 11 July 2018 That would be a blow to Beijing’s effort to attract foreign capital and keep people employed at a time of gathering economic gloom. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "After Trump’s New Tariff Threat, China Seeks Strategy for Retaliation," 11 July 2018 Violet kept them in her peripherals. 2 Bo was hiding behind a powerjack, only meters from the fire door and the emergency exit sign glowing above it through the gloom. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "A transgender girl rises up against alien invaders in Rich Larson’s novel Annex," 8 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gloom.' 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 gloom


14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


1629, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for gloom


Middle English gloumen


see gloom entry 1

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Learn More about gloom

Phrases Related to gloom

gloom and doom

Statistics for gloom

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Time Traveler for gloom

The first known use of gloom was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for gloom



English Language Learners Definition of gloom

: partial or total darkness

: a feeling of sadness


\ˈglüm \

Kids Definition of gloom

1 : partial or complete darkness

2 : a sad mood

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Comments on gloom

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a generally accepted meaning of a word

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