let’s suppose I’m sad about something.

Can I say “I’m glooming at it”, “I’m glooming at the fact you failed in the exam”?

  • Yes, "gloom" is used as a verb. "gloom over" sounds better, though.
    – user392935
    Commented Aug 18, 2020 at 15:15
  • 1
    Yes, Oxford Languages gives the verb definition, "be or look depressed or despondent".
    – jazelly
    Commented Aug 18, 2020 at 15:18
  • So it works when I say “I’m glooming over it” and it basically means I’m sad about it. Commented Aug 18, 2020 at 15:30
  • Odd, though. And potential confusion with glom onto.
    – Xanne
    Commented Aug 18, 2020 at 20:13

1 Answer 1


‘Gloom’ does exist as a verb, both as a transitive and an intransitive.

According to OED,

‘gloom’ intransitive - “To look sullen or displeased; to frown, scowl, lower; also to gloom on or to gloom at (a person); in recent use also (through influence of gloomy, adj.): To look dismal or dejected, to wear an air of sombre melancholy; to be gloomy; of the weather, the sky, etc.: To lower, look dark or threatening; to be or to become dull and cloudy; To have a dark or sombre appearance; to appear as a dark object.”

1968 H. Franklin Crash vi. 77 I sat and gloomed in the hotel lounge.

1863 T. Woolner My Beautiful Lady iii. 135 Long toil-devoted years have gloomed and shone Since these events closed up my doors of life.

1850 E. B. Browning Sonnets from Portuguese xix, in Poems (new ed.) II. 456 The dim purpureal tresses gloomed athwart The nine white Muse-brows.

‘gloom’ transitive - To make dark or sombre; to cover with gloom;

1851 E. B. Browning Casa Guidi Windows i. xxv. 65 One temple, with its floors Of shining jasper, gloom'd at morn and eve By countless knees of earnest auditors.

1873 Symonds in Biog. (1895) II. 83 The boredom of this delay at Trapani has, I dare say, gloomed my views of the outer world.

PS Some of observations on the use of Gloom in literary works:

'Gloom' and 'gloomed' in the novels of Charles Dickens

'Gloom' occurs approximately 150 times, for the most part as a noun, and very occasionally as an adjective. (https://quotations.ch/quotations/#authors=Dickens&words=gloom)

'Gloomed' ('gloom', past tense) appeared twice:

Little Dorrit W Dickens, Charles 1856

He kissed Amy as she started up to meet him, nodded to Fanny, nodded to his father, gloomed on the visitor without further recognition, and sat down.

Little Dorrit W Dickens, Charles 1856

At this remark the face of Mr Dorrit gloomed considerably. He was about (connecting the accrediting with an obtrusive person of the name of Clennam, whom he imperfectly remembered in some former state of existence) to black-ball the name of Gowan finally, when Edward Dorrit, Esquire, came into the conversation, with his glass in his eye, and the preliminary remark of ‘I say--you there! Go out, will you!’--which was addressed to a couple of men who were handing the dishes round, as a courteous intimation that their services could be temporarily dispensed with.

For the full list of the occurrences of 'gloom', see https://quotations.ch/quotations/#authors=Dickens&words=gloom

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