gloomier; gloomiest
: partially or totally dark
especially : dismally and depressingly dark
gloomy weather
: having a frowning or scowling appearance : forbidding
a gloomy countenance
: low in spirits : melancholy
: causing gloom : depressing
a gloomy story
a gloomy landscape
: lacking in promise or hopefulness : pessimistic
gloomy prophecies
a gloomy future
gloomily adverb
gloominess noun
Choose the Right Synonym for gloomy

dismal, dreary, bleak, gloomy, cheerless, desolate mean devoid of cheer or comfort.

dismal indicates extreme and utterly depressing gloominess.

dismal weather

dreary, often interchangeable with dismal, emphasizes discouragement resulting from sustained dullness or futility.

a dreary job

bleak suggests chill, dull, and barren characteristics that utterly dishearten.

the bleak years of the depression

gloomy often suggests lack of hope or promise.

gloomy war news

cheerless stresses absence of anything cheering.

a drab and cheerless office

desolate adds an element of utter remoteness or lack of human contact to any already disheartening aspect.

a desolate outpost

sullen, glum, morose, surly, sulky, crabbed, saturnine, gloomy mean showing a forbidding or disagreeable mood.

sullen implies a silent ill humor and a refusal to be sociable.

remained sullen amid the festivities

glum suggests a silent dispiritedness.

a glum candidate left to ponder a stunning defeat

morose adds to glum an element of bitterness or misanthropy.

morose job seekers who are inured to rejection

surly implies gruffness and sullenness of speech or manner.

a typical surly teenager

sulky suggests childish resentment expressed in peevish sullenness.

grew sulky after every spat

crabbed applies to a forbidding morose harshness of manner.

the school's notoriously crabbed headmaster

saturnine describes a heavy forbidding aspect or suggests a bitter disposition.

a saturnine cynic always finding fault

gloomy implies a depression in mood making for seeming sullenness or glumness.

a gloomy mood ushered in by bad news

Example Sentences

We've had a week of gloomy weather. The news continues to be gloomy. She doesn't agree with their gloomy economic forecasts. His book paints a gloomy picture of the prospects for peace. I've never seen you looking so gloomy.
Recent Examples on the Web As a result, the theory goes, Fed policymakers aren’t really that gloomy about inflation and the path of interest rates. Paul Davidson, USA TODAY, 18 Dec. 2022 And on Friday the University of Michigan consumer confidence reading dropped to 59.7 from 62.8, as Americans grew increasingly gloomy about the economy. Arkansas Online, 12 Mar. 2022 The preseason ended on a gloomy note when Dobbins, one of the team’s top big-play threats, tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) after catching a screen pass from Jackson. Childs Walker,, 8 Sep. 2021 Aircraft investors still seem to be gloomy about international routes, which are more dependent on business travelers. Jon Sindreu, WSJ, 14 June 2021 In this case, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates, which led the stock market to fall, which led consumers to become gloomy about the economy. Washington Post Staff, Washington Post, 1 Mar. 2016 Across the border, Izaguirre is gloomy about the wildlife of Sonora. Jeff Wheelwright, Discover Magazine, 28 Aug. 2014 Consumers and businesses are generally gloomy right now, with some sentiment measures at extreme lows, said another speaker, Daniel Brady, chief investment strategist at PNC Asset Management Group. Russ Wiles, The Arizona Republic, 17 Nov. 2022 When the results are gloomy, some poll addicts seem bothered by the fact that their level of existential dread is dictated by guys young enough to, plausibly, receive an atomic wedgie. Zach Helfand, The New Yorker, 6 Nov. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gloomy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


see gloom entry 1

First Known Use

1588, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of gloomy was in 1588

Dictionary Entries Near gloomy

Cite this Entry

“Gloomy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Jan. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on gloomy

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?