adjective \ ˈglü-mē \
|Updated on: 12 Jul 2018

Definition of gloomy

gloomier; gloomiest
1 a : partially or totally dark; especially : dismally and depressingly dark
  • gloomy weather
b : having a frowning or scowling appearance : forbidding
  • a gloomy countenance
c : low in spirits : melancholy
2 a : causing gloom : depressing
  • a gloomy story
  • a gloomy landscape
b : lacking in promise or hopefulness : pessimistic
  • gloomy prophecies
  • a gloomy future


play \ˈglü-mə-lē\ adverb


play \ˈglü-mē-nəs\ noun

Examples of gloomy in a Sentence

  1. We've had a week of gloomy weather.

  2. The news continues to be gloomy.

  3. She doesn't agree with their gloomy economic forecasts.

  4. His book paints a gloomy picture of the prospects for peace.

  5. I've never seen you looking so gloomy.

Recent Examples of gloomy from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of gloomy

see 1gloom

gloomy Synonyms

Synonym Discussion of 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

GLOOMY Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of gloomy for English Language Learners

  • : somewhat dark : not bright or sunny

  • : causing feelings of sadness : not hopeful or promising

  • : sad or depressed

GLOOMY Defined for Kids


adjective \ ˈglü-mē \

Definition of gloomy for Students

gloomier; gloomiest
1 : partly or completely dark
2 : sad 1, blue
3 : causing feelings of sadness
  • a gloomy story
4 : not hopeful or promising
  • The future looks gloomy.


\-mə-lē\ adverb

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