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See also: Toom



Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English toom, tom, from Old English tōm (empty), from Proto-Germanic *tōmaz (free, available, empty), from Proto-Indo-European *doma- (to tame), *dema- (to build). Cognate with Danish and Swedish tom (empty, vacant), Icelandic tómur (empty).


toom (comparative more toom, superlative most toom)

  1. (rare or dialectal, Northern England, Scotland) Empty; bare.
    • 1778, Alexander Ross, Fortunate Shepherdess, page 62:
      Gin she was toom afore, she's toomer now,
      Her heart was like to loup out at her mou'.
    • 1825, The Tyneside Songster:
      Then hie to the Custom House, add to your pleasures, Now you're well cover'd, so toom the new measures: It ne'er will be finish'd, I'll wager a groat, Till they've cut a canal te admit five-men boats!
    • 1895, James Matthew Barrie, The Little Minister, page 135:
      Every time Gavin's cup went to his lips Nanny calculated (correctly) how much he had drunk, and yet, when the right moment arrived, she asked in the English voice that is fashionable at ceremonies, "if his cup was toom."
    • 1896, Scribner's Magazine, volume 20:
      "You saw it was toom. The lamp had gone out itself, or else — what's that?"
    • 1902, John Buchan, The Outgoing of the Tide
      It seemed to him that his soul had gone from him, and he was as toom as a hazel shell.
    • 1951, Ivor John Carnegie Brown, I break my word, page 120:
      Bare is much better. 'When she got there, the cupboard was bare' does call up the distress of those with naked larders. 'The cupboard was empty' would not be poignant at all. But 'the cupboard was toom' would utter the voice of real despair.
    • 1974, Ranald Nicholson, Scotland: the later Middle Ages, page 50:
      His tabard was 'toom' — bare or empty — and Balliol, the unmade king, became 'Toom Tabard'.
Derived terms[edit]


toom (plural tooms)

  1. (chiefly Scottish) A piece of waste ground where rubbish is deposited.


toom (third-person singular simple present tooms, present participle tooming, simple past and past participle toomed)

  1. (rare or dialectal) To empty; teem.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English toom, tome, tom, from Old Norse tóm (vacant time, leisure), from Proto-Germanic *tōmą (vacant time, leisure). Related to Old Norse tómr (vacant, empty).


toom (usually uncountable, plural tooms)

  1. Vacant time, leisure.
    • 1978, Art and Artists:
      He had exhausted Bath, but his connections and introductions made the transition easy. There was toom for two in the capital.





From Middle Dutch toom, from Old Dutch *tōm, from Proto-West Germanic *taum, from Proto-Germanic *taumaz.

Doublet with Dutch team, from English.



toom m or n (plural tomen, diminutive toompje n)

  1. bridle, rein
    Je moet die jongens echt even in toom houden - You really need to keep those boys in check
  2. a flock of birds (especially ducks, geese and swans)
  3. frenulum


  • Negerhollands: toom




From Proto-Finnic *toomi, from Proto-Uralic *ďëme.


toom (genitive toome, partitive toome)

  1. bird cherry