\ ˈglüm How to pronounce gloom (audio) \
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

Verb 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 Noun 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 Thomas and the Alleged Accounting Cover-up The island of Sodor was shrouded in gloom. Max De Haldevang, Quartz, "Thomas the Tank Engine was allegedly the engine for an accounting cover-up," 7 Nov. 2019 For younger kids, there is some doom and gloom but it's offset by humor, friendship and romance. Kirby Adams, The Courier-Journal, "Simba, Zazu and Scar are heading to Louisville with Disney's 'The Lion King' on Broadway," 25 Oct. 2019 This downward motion is associated with June gloom along the California Coast, Swain said. Los Angeles Times, "Could a hurricane lash Los Angeles? 80 years ago, this deadly storm came close," 22 Aug. 2019 That contrasts with short-term gloom, at least among onshore market-watchers. Shen Hong, WSJ, "Foreign Money Pours Into China Despite Market Wobbles," 22 Aug. 2018 That seems a fitting symbol for this rendering of a composer who was pursued by gloom all his life: sickly, suffering from recurrent mental distress, dead at just 39. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: Hershey Felder brings Chopin vividly to life in reprise of solo show about composer’s life and work," 16 Sep. 2019 With all the doom and gloom surrounding us (see: the tanking economy, political divisiveness, the rise of white supremacy, gun control issues, our dying planet), the message felt refreshing. Sara Radin, Teen Vogue, "The Big Takeaway From NYFW 2019: Find More Joy," 13 Sep. 2019 On Wall Street, Dell Technologies beat the doom and gloom atmosphere pervading enterprise tech companies with solid-ish results. Adam Lashinsky, Fortune, "The Best Way to Thwart Hackers and Cyber Crooks—Data Sheet," 30 Aug. 2019 At the Illinois State Fair, an annual celebration of all things agriculture, attendees said the gloom was palpable. Chicago Tribune Staff,, "Daywatch: CTU group’s Venezuela trip slammed as ‘propaganda tour,’ a ‘nightmare’ year for Illinois farmers and other things to know to start your day," 19 Aug. 2019

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

Verb and Noun

Middle English gloumen

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Statistics for gloom

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 How to pronounce gloom (audio) \

Kids Definition of gloom

1 : partial or complete darkness
2 : a sad mood

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More from Merriam-Webster on gloom

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for gloom

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with gloom

Spanish Central: Translation of gloom

Nglish: Translation of gloom for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of gloom for Arabic Speakers

Comments on gloom

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


something of little or no value

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