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 Ahmed’s glum forecast comes as many economists on Wall Street are scrapping their calls for a recession. Emily Graffeo, Fortune, 1 Sep. 2023 New Zealand is reckoning with a skills shortage and a slowing economy, and the news was received with glum resignation, amid concerns that even more Kiwis would take flight for Australia and its much bigger economy. Natasha Frost, New York Times, 27 Apr. 2023 Investors are glum about Tesla’s profit margins, even while cheering its recent delivery report that revealed the company delivered 466,140 vehicles to customers during the past three months. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, 19 July 2023 The two were glum when Cloud saw someone walk by and offered a sincere compliment on their outfit. Cheyenne Roundtree, Rolling Stone, 10 Aug. 2023 Some economists and labor groups think officials like Mr. Williams are being overly glum about the prospects for continued improvement in labor supply: Immigration numbers are still climbing, and flexible and remote work arrangements might mean that people who could not work in past eras now can. Jeanna Smialek, New York Times, 24 July 2023 Investors are glum about Tesla’s profit margins Nonetheless, the price cuts have proven popular with customers, who have been snatching up Tesla vehicles as fast as they are made. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, 19 July 2023 Amid the glum silence of teammates packing up their gear, with empathetic parents and siblings waiting to take commemorative photos, White shed his jersey. Matt Porter,, 9 June 2023 The feeling around the clubhouse Friday night, though, was understandably glum after several misplays extended a losing streak. Sarah Valenzuela, Los Angeles Times, 15 July 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 30 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


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

More from Merriam-Webster on glum

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!