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[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.
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Examples from the Web for glumly
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • glumly, and almost in a daze, the Morningside players looked at the figures.

  • John raised the diminutive perch into the air and regarded it glumly.

    A Son of the City Herman Gastrell Seely
  • And that,” said Colonel Fennister glumly, “appears to be that.

    Cum Grano Salis Gordon Randall Garrett
  • He was convinced that the entire ticket-buying cue was glumly resenting him.

    Free Air Sinclair Lewis
  • I found him, as usual, on the mats of the native house, glumly smoking a pipe and talking politics with Papalangi Mativa.

  • "How would I know," said Banner, glumly staring into his drink.

    Unspecialist Murray F. Yaco
  • A discussion followed; but Swithin ate on glumly, conscious that his mind was set on larger affairs.

British Dictionary definitions for glumly


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
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Word Origin and History for glumly



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
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