English [ edit ]
Etymology [ edit ]
Middle English , *gloom , from *glom Old English glōm ( “ gloaming, twilight, darkness ” ), from Proto-West Germanic , from *glōm Proto-Germanic *glōmaz ( “ gleam, shimmer, sheen ” ), from Proto-Indo-European *ǵʰley- ( “ to gleam, shimmer, glow ” ). The English word is cognate with Norwegian glom ( “ transparent membrane ” ), Scots gloam ( “ twilight; faint light; dull gleam ” ).
Pronunciation [ edit ]
gloom ( usually , uncountable plural )
Darkness, dimness, or obscurity.
the gloom of a forest, or of midnight
1898, J. Meade Falkner, chapter 4, in , London; Toronto, Ont.: Moonfleet Jonathan Cape, published 1934: Here was a surprise, and a sad one for me, for I perceived that I had slept away a day, and that the sun was setting for another night. And yet it mattered little, for night or daytime there was no light to help me in this horrible place; and though my eyes had grown accustomed to the gloom, I could make out nothing to show me where to work. 2022 January 12, “News in pictures: Repatriated '66s' return home”, in RAIL, number 948, page 20: On December 13, Maritime-liveried 66051 powers out of the early morning gloom with three repatriated Class 66s, on the 0809 Dollands Moor Sidings-Scunthorpe Redbourne Siding. A
depressing, despondent, or melancholic atmosphere.
1855, Robert Browning, “‘ Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came.’”, in , volume I, London: Men and Women [ … ] Chapman and Hall, [ … ] , , stanza 19, OCLC 1561924 page 142: A sudden little river crossed my path / As unexpected as a serpent comes. / No sluggish tide congenial to the glooms— / This, as it frothed by, might have been a bath / For the fiend's glowing hoof—to see the wrath / Of its black eddy bespate with flakes and spumes. 1956, Mae Boren Axton, Tommy Durden, and Elvis Presley (lyrics), “ Heartbreak Hotel”, performed by Elvis Presley: Although it's always crowded You still can find some room For broken-hearted lovers To cry there in their gloom. Cloudiness or heaviness of mind; melancholy; aspect of sorrow; low spirits; dullness.
1770, Edmund Burke, Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents:
A sullen gloom and furious disorder prevailed by fits. A drying oven used in gunpowder manufacture.
Derived terms [ edit ]
Related terms [ edit ]
Translations [ edit ]
darkness, dimness, or obscurity
тъмнина (bg) f ( tǎmnina ), мрак (bg) m ( mrak ) Dutch:
duisternis (nl) f Finnish:
hämy (fi) French:
obscurité (fr) , f pénombre (fr) , f grisaille (fr) f Galician:
tebras (gl) , f noitebra , f cendra (gl) , f escuridade (gl) , f fusco , m negrura f Georgian:
წყვდიადი ( c̣q̇vdiadi ), ბნელეთი ( bneleti ), უკუნეთი ( uḳuneti ), სიბნელე ( sibnele ), ბნელი ( bneli ), უკუნეთი ( uḳuneti ) German:
Düsternis (de) , f Dunkelheit (de) f Greek:
σκότος (el) n ( skótos ), ζόφος (el) m ( zófos ), σκοτεινιά (el) f ( skoteiniá )
Ancient: γνόφος m ( gnóphos ) Hebrew:
חשך (he) m ( khóshekh ) Italian:
oscurità (it) , f tenebre (it) , f pl buio (it) m Maori:
, hiawe pōuritanga Portuguese:
trevas (pt) Russian:
тьма (ru) f ( tʹma ), мрак (ru) m ( mrak ), темнота́ (ru) f ( temnotá ) Sanskrit:
तमस् (sa) n ( tamas ) Spanish:
penumbra (es) f Welsh: caddug m
depressing, despondent, or melancholy atmosphere
cloudiness or heaviness of mind; melancholy; aspect of sorrow; low spirits; dullness
gloom ( third-person singular simple present , glooms present participle , glooming simple past and past participle )
( intransitive ) To be dark or gloomy.
1891, Mary Noailles Murfree, In the "Stranger People's" Country, Nebraska 2005, p. 189:
Around all the dark forest gloomed.
( intransitive ) To look or feel sad, sullen or despondent.
1882, W. Marshall, Strange Chapman, volume 2, 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 Lovely Lady
Ciss was a big, dark-complexioned, pug-faced young woman who seemed to be glooming about something.
1904 November 10, Henry James, chapter XVI, in , volume I, New York, N.Y.: The Golden Bowl Charles Scribner’s Sons, , book first (The Prince), part third, OCLC 547842 page 283: "Is Maggie then astonishing too?"—and he gloomed out of his window. 1930, Norman Lindsay, , Sydney: Ure Smith, published 1965, page 85: Redheap He gloomed for some moments above the round-topped table[.]
( transitive ) To render gloomy or dark; to obscure; to darken.
( transitive ) To fill with gloom; to make sad, dismal, or sullen.
1859, Alfred Tennyson, “Vivien”, in , London: Idylls of the King Edward Moxon & Co., [ … ] , , OCLC 911789798 page 110: For see you not, dear love, / Such a mood as that, which lately gloom'd / Your fancy when you saw me following you, / Must make me fear still more you are not mine, [… ] To shine or appear obscurely or imperfectly; to glimmer.