gloom – Wiktionary



From Center English *gloom, *glom, from Previous English glōm (gloaming, twilight, darkness), from Proto-West Germanic *glōm, from Proto-Germanic *glōmaz (gleam, shimmer, sheen), from Proto-Indo-European *ǵʰley- (to gleam, shimmer, glow). The English phrase is cognate with Norwegian glom (clear membrane), Scots gloam (twilight; faint mild; boring gleam).



gloom (often uncountable, plural glooms)

  1. Darkness, dimness, or obscurity.

    the gloom of a forest, or of midnight

    • 1898, J. Meade Falkner, chapter 4, in Moonfleet:
      Right here was a shock, and a tragic one for me, for I perceived that I had slept away a day, and that the solar was setting for an additional night time. And but it mattered little, for night time or daytime there was no mild to assist me on this horrible place; and although my eyes had grown accustomed to the gloom, I may make out nothing to indicate me the place to work.
  2. A miserable, despondent, or melancholic environment.
    • 1855, Robert Browning, “‘Childe Roland to the Darkish Tower Got here.’”, in Males and Ladies […] In Two Volumes, quantity I, London: Chapman and Corridor, [], OCLC 1561924, stanza 19, web page 142:

      A sudden little river crossed my path / As sudden as a serpent comes. / No sluggish tide congenial to the glooms— / This, because it frothed by, may need been a shower / For the fiend’s glowing hoof—to see the wrath / Of its black eddy bespate with flakes and spumes.

  3. Cloudiness or heaviness of thoughts; melancholy; facet of sorrow; low spirits; dullness.
    • 1770, Edmund Burke, Ideas on the Explanation for the Current Discontents:
      A sullen gloom and livid dysfunction prevailed by suits.
  4. A drying oven utilized in gunpowder manufacture.

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gloom (third-person singular easy current glooms, current participle glooming, easy previous and previous participle gloomed)

  1. (intransitive) To be darkish or gloomy.
    • 1770, Oliver Goldsmith, The Abandoned Village
      The black gibbet glooms beside the best way.
    • 1891, Mary Noailles Murfree, Within the “Stranger Folks’s” Nation, Nebraska 2005, p. 189:
      Round all of the darkish forest gloomed.
  2. (intransitive) To look or really feel unhappy, sullen or despondent.
    • 1882, W. Marshall, Unusual Chapman, quantity 2, web page 170:

      Her face gathers, furrows, glooms; arching eyebrows wrinkle into horizontals, and a tinge of bitterness unsmooths the cheek and robs the lip of sweetened grace. She is evidently perturbed.

    • a. 1930, D. H. Lawrence, The Pretty Girl
      Ciss was a giant, dark-complexioned, pug-faced younger lady who gave the impression to be glooming about one thing.
    • 1904, Henry James, The Golden Bowl:

      “Is Maggie then astonishing too?”—and he gloomed out of his window.

    • 1930, Norman Lindsay, Redheap, Sydney: Ure Smith, revealed 1965, web page 85:

      He gloomed for some moments above the round-topped desk[.]

  3. (transitive) To render gloomy or darkish; to obscure; to darken.
  4. (transitive) To fill with gloom; to make unhappy, dismal, or sullen.
  5. To shine or seem obscurely or imperfectly; to glimmer.


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