Definition of gloom in English:



mass noun
  • 1Partial or total darkness.

    ‘he strained his eyes peering into the gloom’
    • ‘When she turned, she could see nothing but her sofa in the predawn gloom.’
    • ‘The candles had burnt away to waxy stumps and the battery in one of the lamps had died through the night leaving her side sunk into darkness and gloom.’
    • ‘I was working by the sunlight while the rest of the room was enshrouded in darkness and gloom.’
    • ‘But its overwhelming gloom withdraws into a hazy shadow as the moon showers its silver hues.’
    • ‘After a nice, sunny weekend, we're back to June gloom.’
    • ‘Through the now deepening gloom he could see her steeped in shadow, looking on to the deep gloom of the back of his garden.’
    • ‘He had been away since the first rays of watery sunshine pierced the woodland gloom.’
    • ‘The tall warrior's hair flew against the breeze of the deep winter gloom.’
    • ‘The dusk only discernible from the jungle gloom by the sound of evening-song from invisible birds and the sharp slant of the setting sun between branches.’
    • ‘The surrounding lights seemed to dim, further deepening the gloom.’
    • ‘The sun had set, and a darkening gloom hung over the land.’
    • ‘Something about the gloom and the darkness appealed to me, probably the same reason I loved horror movies.’
    • ‘After the twilight gloom of the entrance came the deepening blackness of the cave's belly.’
    • ‘It leaned forward, and although it was half hidden in shadowy gloom, Peter could see that the dim white gleam of its skin was spotted with red.’
    • ‘With racing starting early and competitors setting off just seconds apart, the entry has to be limited to 1,800 to protect late runners from having to compete in dusk gloom.’
    • ‘Peering out past her hood into the dark gloom, she thought she made out a white shape fluttering in the wind of the storm.’
    • ‘Through the distorted glass of the windows the flurries of snow continued to dance and swirl, the grey light turning the room to a place of gloom and shadows.’
    • ‘I stood near a window, gazing into the vast darkness that enveloped the island in gloom.’
    • ‘Not the darkness of oblivion but the shroud of gloom on a sunless winter day, which made the room look as though as though the light had been switched off.’
    • ‘The massive ship's boilers were easily recognised, piercing the gloom like giant globes.’
    darkness, semi-darkness, dark, gloominess, dimness, blackness, murkiness, murk, shadows, shade, shadiness, obscurity
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    1. 1.1literary count noun A dark or shady place.
      ‘the meadow-hen floats off, to sink into remoter shades and ferny glooms’
      • ‘His ingenious lighting did much to make the most of the subtle settings, some of which poured strange light into Stygian glooms.’
      • ‘He rode in a gloom full of sighing like voices and full of dropping like footsteps.’
      • ‘I sense she may stray into the odd shadowy church and weep there in the candlelit gloom.’
      • ‘Blacks, whites, shadows, glooms, and cobwebs are also used with formidable effect in the Satis House scenes in Great Expectations.’
  • 2A state of depression or despondency.

    ‘a year of economic gloom for the car industry’
    ‘his gloom deepened’
    • ‘This is not someone who views the way ahead with gloom and despondency.’
    • ‘He has been such a bright and consistent light amidst the usual gathering glooms.’
    • ‘He said the biggest danger came from those predicting economic gloom.’
    • ‘Laughter gets rid of gloom, aggravation, depression, worry - all forms of tension.’
    • ‘I hope by the end of this article to have lightened the gloom.’
    • ‘We're staying several steps ahead of gloom, despair, deep dark depression, and excessive misery.’
    • ‘The first of these seems to have caused a sense of gloom, despondency and weary hopelessness to descend on the author as he sat down to put his book together.’
    • ‘Though a settler-farmer not dependent entirely on farm income for a living, even I am not able to escape this feeling of gloom and depression.’
    • ‘After the lengthy period of economic gloom in the tech sector, that's a good thing.’
    • ‘The hope is that this will offset the gathering gloom about prospects.’
    • ‘It was born into a period of economic gloom as those who were around in the early 1980s will recall.’
    • ‘For years we have watched misery and gloom, death and fury.’
    • ‘The victory temporarily lifted the gloom surrounding the team's battle against relegation from the Premiership.’
    • ‘The only feeling she could identify was one of gloom and depression.’
    • ‘City analysts feared the global economic gloom would affect consumers in the run-up to Christmas but they have instead witnessed a surge in spending.’
    • ‘So they continued, but a cloud of gloom hung over the company.’
    • ‘The morale-boosting victory lifted the gloom hanging over the club amid the uncertainty surrounding its future.’
    • ‘Our opposition is determined to create the myth that the last three years represented a period of unhappiness and gloom.’
    • ‘The town was still plagued in gloom, and depression, and seemed to have only gotten worse over time.’
    • ‘I had no words of wisdom to dispel his gloom, no comfort to offer him.’
    despondency, depression, dejection, downheartedness, dispiritedness, heavy-heartedness, melancholy, melancholia, unhappiness, sadness, glumness, gloominess, low spirits, dolefulness, misery, sorrow, sorrowfulness, forlornness, woefulness, woe, wretchedness, lugubriousness, moroseness, mirthlessness, cheerlessness
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[no object]
  • 1literary Have a dark or sombre appearance.

    ‘the black gibbet glooms beside the way’
    • ‘A darkness gloomed high over them and their heatbeats subsided and they stopped dead in their steps.’
    • ‘He got to the end and stopped; a deadly silence gloomed.’
    • ‘Pretty soon, she was deep into her daydreams and didn't realize the peeved teacher glooming over her desk.’
    • ‘Just then, he saw a large house glooming in the distance.’
    • ‘Lucia looked outside and saw grey smoldered clouds glooming over her house, the redness of dawn shined behind its gloomy mask.’
    1. 1.1with object Make dark or dismal.
      ‘a black yew gloom'd the stagnant air’
  • 2Be or look depressed or despondent.

    ‘Charles was always glooming about money’
    • ‘Of course they have every right to celebrate, after glooming for so long and not knowing what's going to happen, this serves as their first big break.’
    • ‘But sometimes, even how happy your day was there would come an instance where the sun would hide and we feel gloomed.’
    • ‘Light and dark, the sun and the moon - don't let these dualities lead you to gloom.’
    • ‘‘The combination of risks and uncertainties is more numerous than probably at any time in recent world history,’ he gloomed to the newspaper.’
    • ‘He gloomed over average household rates rises of 4.5 percent this year, warned that they could fire inflation, cause a tightening in monetary policy, depress the entire economy.’


Late Middle English (as a verb): of unknown origin.