1 of 3

noun (1)

: a frame or machine for interlacing (see interlace sense 1) at right angles two or more sets of threads or yarns to form a cloth


2 of 3


loomed; looming; looms

intransitive verb

: to come into sight in enlarged or distorted and indistinct form often as a result of atmospheric conditions
Storm clouds loomed on the horizon.
: to appear in an impressively great or exaggerated form
deficits loomed large
: to take shape as an impending occurrence
the problems that loomed ahead


3 of 3

noun (2)

: the indistinct and exaggerated appearance of something seen on the horizon or through fog or darkness
also : a looming shadow or reflection

Examples of loom in a Sentence

Verb Storm clouds loomed on the horizon. The mountains loom above the valley.
Recent Examples on the Web
More of those curveballs Neville talked about loom on the horizon. Bryce Miller, San Diego Union-Tribune, 28 Dec. 2023 Meanwhile, grief looms over Henrik’s family, threatening to tear them apart. Leo Barraclough, Variety, 5 Feb. 2024 Congress has faced three government shutdown deadlines since September, and another looms in March. Jacob Bogage, Washington Post, 29 Jan. 2024 The question of what the Höss family knows—and to what extent they can be held responsible—looms over The Zone of Interest. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, 4 Jan. 2024 It’s been nearly two years since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and as the grim milestone looms and winter drags on, the two nations are locked in a grueling standoff. Lily Hay Newman, WIRED, 6 Jan. 2024 Some Bay Area healthcare workers will have to mask again as threat of COVID, flu looms Sept. 21, 2023 The current rate is about four new weekly coronavirus-positive hospital admissions for every 100,000 residents. Rong-Gong Lin Ii, Los Angeles Times, 8 Nov. 2023 And, if the past is any sort of prologue, the Dodgers’ hesitancy toward engaging in nine-figure bidding wars — let alone one that could result in the biggest contract in MLB history — looms as a potential complication in their Ohtani pursuit. Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times, 8 Nov. 2023 The bigger problem is the American political calendar: 2024 looms, and, with it, the prospect of Trump—or another Republican taking his pro-Putin line—returning to power. Susan B. Glasser, The New Yorker, 21 Sep. 2023
In Munich, the specter of Trump and Trumpism loomed over panels about the war in Ukraine and European Union politics and dominated the behind-the-scenes chatter like never before. Souad Mekhennet, Washington Post, 18 Feb. 2024 His dynamic with Harfouch is just as alluring, not only as a brilliant stroke of casting (Tom and Lissy look like mirror images of one another), but as a doorway to some hilariously bizarre discomforts, as the looming specter of mortality gives way to frankness and admissions of regret. Siddhant Adlakha, Variety, 18 Feb. 2024 The ruling, in combination with the looming criminal trials, will only intensify the chaos that has long swirled around Mr. Trump. Alex Lemonides, New York Times, 17 Feb. 2024 Of course, risks still loom, and economists say a recession can’t be ruled out. Stan Choe, Fortune, 16 Feb. 2024 Panic has grown in the city ahead of a looming Israeli ground offensive. Jeremy Diamond, CNN, 16 Feb. 2024 But after 11 previous on-screen breakups, the stability of the couple's connection is uncertain — especially as pressure to make it down the aisle looms. Kelly Wynne, Peoplemag, 14 Feb. 2024 The bitcoin price, which has rebounded from its 2022 price crash, surged as traders bet on a looming supply shock. Billy Bambrough, Forbes, 14 Feb. 2024 As hikers head south on the second half of the loop, keep an eye out for the nearly 2,900-foot Mount Woodson looming ahead. Maura Fox, San Diego Union-Tribune, 12 Feb. 2024 See More

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

Word History


Noun (1)

Middle English lome tool, loom, from Old English gelōma tool; akin to Middle Dutch allame tool

Verb and Noun (2)

origin unknown

First Known Use

Noun (1)

15th century, in the meaning defined above


circa 1541, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

1836, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of loom was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near loom

Cite this Entry

“Loom.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/loom. Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
: a frame or machine for weaving threads or yarns to produce cloth


2 of 2 verb
: to appear suddenly and often with a large, dim, or strange form
loomed out of the fog
: to be about to happen

More from Merriam-Webster on loom

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