a. Partial or total darkness; dimness: switched on a table lamp to banish the gloom of a winter afternoon.
b. A partially or totally dark place, area, or location.
a. An atmosphere of melancholy or depression: Gloom pervaded the office.
b. A state of melancholy or depression; despondency.
v. gloomed, gloom·ing, glooms
1. To be or become dark, shaded, or obscure.
2. To feel, appear, or act despondent, sad, or mournful.
1. To make dark, shaded, or obscure.
2. Archaic To make despondent; sadden.
[Probably from Middle English gloumen, to become dark, look glum.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.