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

Examples of gloomy in a Sentence

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 These perfect rain boots are now on sale, just in time for gloomy fall days. Jake Smith, Glamour, 6 Sep. 2023 His efforts revealed a stained glass skylight that transformed my gloomy stairwell into a rainbow jewel box of miraculous pinks and blues. Micaela MacAgnone, New York Times, 26 Aug. 2023 Not to mention, their bright stripes instantly spark joy ahead of potentially gloomy fall and winter days. Harper's BAZAAR, 25 Aug. 2023 The 27th brings gloomy thoughts to the surface, and the full Moon of the 31st lights up a hidden part of your solar chart, urging you to escape and be private. Katharine Merlin, Town & Country, 16 Aug. 2023 Accessorize with small doses of white to avoid an overly gloomy look. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, 2 Aug. 2023 Even so, the view from the Kremlin is nowhere as gloomy as Mr. Putin’s opponents wish. Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, 28 Aug. 2023 Now that peak summer cooling needs have passed — air-conditioning is a major drain on electricity supplies — power plants could opt to dump inventory if industrial indicators remain gloomy, further pressuring the market. Time, 23 Aug. 2023 Blue Bomb Smoothie This smoothie might be blue, but there's nothing gloomy about it. Paul Kita, Men's Health, 18 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'gloomy.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 21 Sep. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on gloomy

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