From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



From a dialectal variant of glooming, from Middle English *gloming, from Old English glōmung, from Old English glōm (twilight). By surface analysis, gloom +‎ -ing. Related to glow.

The OED notes[1]: "The vowel of the modern gloaming is anomalous, as Old English glōmung should normally become glooming. The explanation is probably that the ō was shortened in the compound ǣfen-glommung (as the spelling seems to show was actually the case), and that from this compound there was evolved a new subject glŏmung, which by normal phonetic development became Middle English glǭming, modern English gloaming."



gloaming (plural gloamings)

  1. (poetry, Scotland, Northern England) Twilight, as at early morning (dawn) or (especially) early evening; dusk.
    Synonyms: crepuscule, glooming, vespers; see also Thesaurus:twilight
    Antonyms: daytime, daylight, nighttime, darkness
    • c. 1841, anonymous author, “The Bonnie Banks o' Loch Lomond”, in Vocal Melodies of Scotland, verse 2:
      Where in purple hue, the hieland hills we view / And the moon coming out in the gloaming.
    • 1898, H[erbert] G[eorge] Wells, chapter 6, in The War of the Worlds, book 1:
      You may imagine the young people brushed up after the labours of the day, and making this novelty, as they would make any novelty, the excuse for walking together and enjoying a trivial flirtation. You may figure to yourself the hum of voices along the road in the gloaming []
    • 2001, David Lodge, Thinks ...:
      I clung to her nipples as she soared and swooped through the gloaming, scooping up insects, and I remember the shapes of things that she flew between, above, beneath.
    • 2003, “The Gloaming”, in Hail to the Thief, performed by Radiohead:
      Your alarm bells, your alarm / They should be ringing, they should be ringing / This is the gloaming
  2. (obsolete) Sullenness; melancholy.
    Synonyms: crepuscule, glooming, misery, sadness, sorrow, woe




  1. present participle and gerund of gloam


  1. ^ Oxford English Dictionary, G-222.