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See also: Doom, dom, Dom, DOM, and -dom



From Middle English dome, dom, from Old English dōm (judgement), from Proto-Germanic *dōmaz, from Proto-Indo-European *dʰóh₁mos. Compare West Frisian doem, Dutch doem, Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish dom, Icelandic dómur. See also deem.



doom (countable and uncountable, plural dooms)

  1. Destiny, especially terrible.
    • Dryden
      Homely household task shall be her doom.
    • 2007, Billy Lee Brammer, “Fustian Days: Book One: Sonic Goddam Boom”, in Southwest Review, volume 92, number 4, page 495:
      "When should I expect him?" Roy said, resigned to his doom.
    • 2009 December 11, Karen Gormandy, “Robin Hood”, in (Please provide the book title or journal name), volume 59, number 8, page 4:
      "After he takes the throne, you will be arrested." / "You lie like your master, Carfax. Your doom is sealed."
  2. An ill fate; an impending severe occurrence or danger that seems inevitable.
    • 2004, Arthur Miller, “The Turpentine Still”, in Southwest Review, volume 89, number 4, page 479:
      unlike Vincent, he wasn't quite taken in by the outbreak of hopefulness on all sides. After all, nothing about the tanks or the process had been resolved; an air of doom still hung undisturbed over the project.
    • 2007 February, Bob Bahr, “Tapestries in Oil”, in American Artist, volume 71, number 773, page 45:
      Such paintings are inherently moody, and Elliott likes that-even as he carefully avoids dictating a specific mood. "Yesterday I painted the last light of the day-the trees looked pink, and the mountain's shadow was coming over them. It created a feeling of nostalgia... or impending doom... or still, quiet, peacefulness. It depends on the viewer's feelings about the scene, not just mine."
    • 2009 April 27, Nate Davis, “After Lions^ gamble, lots of big men tapped”, in USA Today, Sports, page 7C:
      Chung was the first of its four picks in Round 2. His arrival might spell doom for Rodney Harrison.
  3. A feeling of danger, impending danger, darkness or despair.
    • 2006, Sophie Jordan, Once upon a wedding night:
      She halted her pacing steps as the ugly significance of Nicholas Caulfield's pending arrival washed over her. Ruin. Destitution. Doom settled like a heavy stone in her chest.
    • 2007, Terry Kay, The Year the Lights Came on, page 204:
      Feeling doom, as we learned in the beautiful folk language of blacks who knew the truth of it, began with a single unexpected oddity — a redbird out of season, hail out of cloudless skies, dogs cowering under the house
    • 2008, Beverly Fincham, Real Life Freedom, page 25:
      I'm taking medications every day; never thinking I would be spiraling into nothing but a nightmare that made me feel doom.
    • 2009 March, Deanna Roy, “Forget the rules and make the leap”, in Writer, volume 122, number 3, page 15:
      Then the smiling narrator filled me with doom: I was expected to pull my own rip cord. I nearly fainted.
    • 2010 July 20, Mark Morford, “What to do when it all goes right”, in San Francisco Chronicle:
      perhaps you do that most rare of things when reading the news: You grin, exhale, stop feeling doom in every crevasse and corner of your body.
  4. (countable, historical) A law.
    • 1915, Beatrice Adelaide Lees, Alfred the Great: the truth teller, maker of England, 848-899, page 211:
      "What ye will not that other men should do unto you, that do ye not unto other men." "From this one doom," comments Alfred, "a man may bethink him how he should judge every one rightly: he needs no other doombook."
  5. (countable, historical) A judgment or decision.
    • Fairfax
      And there he learned of things and haps to come, / To give foreknowledge true, and certain doom.
    • 1861, Henry Sumner Maine, Ancient Law, page 22:
      Kings are spoken of as if they had a store of "Themistes" ready to hand for use; but it must be distinctly understood that they are not laws, but judgments, or, to take the exact Teutonic equivalent, "dooms."
    • 1915, Beatrice Adelaide Lees, Alfred the Great: the truth teller, maker of England, 848-899, page 208:
      when Alfred in turn set himself to the task of stating and interpreting the law of his kingdom, there were already precedents for him to follow, in the written "dooms" (domas) of his predecessors, — themselves but a small portion of the still unwritten custom
  6. (countable, historical) A sentence or penalty for illegal behaviour.
    • J. R. Green
      The first dooms of London provide especially the recovery of cattle belonging to the citizens.
    • 1828, John Erskine, An institute of the law of Scotland, page 989:
      Appeals were by our ancient law styled falsing of dooms. They were to be entered immediately after doom or sentence was pronounced,
  7. Death.
    They met an untimely doom when the mineshaft caved in.
    • Shakespeare
      This is the day of doom for Bassianus.
    • 2009, Anne Kristin Stuart, Tangled lies:
      The engines were rumbling, missing every now and then, and Rachel leaned back in her seat, prepared to meet her doom somewhere over the Pacific. At least there was a priest at hand -- maybe she could entice him to hear a final confession.
  8. (sometimes capitalized) The Last Judgment; or, an artistic representation of it.

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doom (third-person singular simple present dooms, present participle dooming, simple past and past participle doomed)

  1. To pronounce sentence or judgment on; to condemn.
    a criminal doomed to death
    • Dryden
      Absolves the just, and dooms the guilty souls.
  2. To destine; to fix irrevocably the ill fate of.
    • Macaulay
      A man of genius [] doomed to struggle with difficulties.
  3. (obsolete) To judge; to estimate or determine as a judge.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Milton to this entry?)
  4. (obsolete) To ordain as a penalty; hence, to mulct or fine.
    • Shakespeare
      Have I tongue to doom my brother's death?
  5. (archaic, US, New England) To assess a tax upon, by estimate or at discretion.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of J. Pickering to this entry?)



See also[edit]




  1. child, offspring
  2. seed