"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[gluhm] /glʌm/
adjective, glummer, glummest.
sullenly or silently gloomy; dejected.
Origin of glum
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English; variant of gloom
Related forms
glumly, adverb
glumness, noun
moody, sulky; despondent, melancholy. Glum, morose, sullen, dour, surly all are adjectives describing a gloomy, unsociable attitude. Glum describes a depressed, spiritless condition or manner, usually temporary rather than habitual: a glum shrug of the shoulders; a glum, hopeless look in his eye. Morose, which adds to glum a sense of bitterness, implies a habitual and pervasive gloominess: a sour, morose manner; morose withdrawal from human contact. Sullen usually implies reluctance or refusal to speak accompanied by glowering looks expressing anger or a sense of injury: a sullen manner, silence, look. Dour refers to a stern and forbidding aspect, stony and unresponsive: dour rejection of friendly overtures. Surly implies gruffness of speech and manner, usually accompanied by an air of injury and ill temper: a surly reply. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for glum
  • But many economists remain worried that momentum could soon weaken, with the economy sliding back into glum times.
  • He turned to look at the five witnesses and was dismayed to see the glum expressions on the faces of the stoic islanders.
  • Paint and tile helped take our remodel from glum to glam.
  • What should have been a glorious event turned into a glum one.
  • It was a rare bit of optimism in a region whose mood is glum.
  • The sky takes on a glum palette ranging from bruised purple to rust red.
  • Those with a combination of these traits have particularly glum statistics.
  • The ruling has left civil libertarians glum about the future of e-mail privacy at work.
  • But glee turned to glum this week as markets retreated around the globe.
  • But as far as engines go, the situation is still glum.
British Dictionary definitions for glum


adjective glummer, glummest
silent or sullen, as from gloom
Derived Forms
glumly, adverb
glumness, noun
Word Origin
C16: variant of gloom
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for glum

1540s, "sullen, frowning," from Middle English gloumen (v.) "become dark" (c.1300), later gloumben "look gloomy or sullen" (late 14c.); see gloom. Related: Glumly; glumness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for glum

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for glum

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with glum