glummer; glummest
: broodingly morose
became glum when they heard the news
: dreary, gloomy
a glum countenance
glumly adverb
glumness noun
Choose the Right Synonym for glum

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 glum in a Sentence

There's no need to look so glum—things will get better soon. There was a glum silence in the room.
Recent Examples on the Web That outcome adds to a glum picture for developers like Fortnite maker Epic, consumers, and governments from around the world that have been trying for years to loosen the restrictions Apple and Google maintain over downloading, paying for, and using apps on mobile devices. Paresh Dave, WIRED, 18 Jan. 2024 Another question explores why economic attitudes are so glum. Gary Langer, ABC News, 14 Jan. 2024 Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves (Paramount) Fantasy had become incredibly glum and heavy thanks to Game of Thrones and its ilk, so directors and co-writers John Francis Daley and Johnathan Goldstein zagged when others zigged, making a delightful romp with humor and heart. Borys Kit, The Hollywood Reporter, 4 Jan. 2024 There was one glimmer of good news in an otherwise glum week for Ukraine when the European Union agreed on Thursday to open negotiations for Ukraine to join the bloc, following through on pledges made soon after Russia’s invasion last year. Constant Méheut, New York Times, 15 Dec. 2023 She is then escorted away by Atlanta police looking glum and not saying anything. Timothy H.j. Nerozzi Fox News, Fox News, 9 Dec. 2023 In Heather's first photo the reality star had a glum look on her face while Tristan, in the second snap, still managed to smile in his cuddly hooded fleece with bear ears. Marisa Sullivan, Peoplemag, 29 Nov. 2023 Huh, a little glum for the cheery holiday season, dontchya think? Hannah Dylan Pasternak, SELF, 21 Nov. 2023 Despite the Thing’s example, conventionally ugly or visibly disfigured characters are usually villains, from the scarred and vengeful Madame Hydra to the big, round, glum Blob. Stephanie Burt, The New Yorker, 20 Sep. 2023 See More

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

Word History


akin to Middle English gloumen to gloom

First Known Use

1547, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of glum was in 1547

Dictionary Entries Near glum

Cite this Entry

“Glum.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


glummer; glummest
: seeming gloomy and sad
a glum expression
glumly adverb
glumness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on glum

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