Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Twilight; dusk.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. twilight, as at early morning or (especially) early evening; dusk
  • n. sullenness; melancholy

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Twilight; dusk; the fall of the evening.
  • n. Sullenness; melancholy.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The fall of the evening as the time of dusk or gloom; the twilight.
  • n. Hence—2. Closing period; decline: as, the gloaming of life.
  • n. 3. Gloominess of mood or disposition; glooming.
  • Of or pertaining to the gloaming or twilight.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the time of day immediately following sunset

Etymologies

Middle English gloming, from Old English glōmung, alteration (probably influenced by æfnung, evening) of glōm, dusk.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Old English glōmung. (Wiktionary)

Examples

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • As peasants make their weary homing
    So lovers start their fretful roaming
    In that darkling hour
    Of nostalgic power,
    The sweetly melancholic gloaming.

    June 22, 2014

  • Crepuscular

    August 6, 2009

  • Gloaming.. for some bizarre reason I always think of jello when I hear this word.. I have no idea why.

    June 24, 2009

  • I'm pretty sure Roald Dahl is weird. But then, I've always had a thing for Patricia Neal and can't help but take her side.

    Gloaming is a wonderful, evocative word that wears its heart on its sleeve. And while it's all about a quality of light, it's connection with darkness and mystery is inescapable. After all, it's twilight – duality, inbetweenness, borderline.

    *hurries off to start a new list*

    May 28, 2009

  • *thinks Roald Dahl must be much weirder than he's read*

    May 28, 2009

  • *thinks Alaska must be much weirder than she's heard*

    May 28, 2009

  • I think if I had read Roald Dahl's poem, I'd associate gloaming with dark, too, Milo. Thanks for sharing that wonderful piece. Although tonight, in the gloaming around 11:00pm, I fear I'm going to be listening for oily boily bodies oozing onward...

    May 28, 2009

  • Wow, this page just keeps getting interestinger!

    May 27, 2009

  • Interesting: 'gloom' seems to have originally meant "frown, scowl" and to have transferred metaphorically to what clouds and such obscuring bodies do, thus "be dark". The use of 'gloom' as a noun "darkness" seems to originate with Milton. (Shakespeare has 'gloomy' in a sense that could be modern "dark" or still the metaphor "louring".)

    Whereas as skipvia points out, the original sense of 'gloaming' is of light rather than darkness.

    May 27, 2009

  • Interesting, thanks!

    My perception of this word was doubtless influenced by Roald Dahl's poem:

    In the quelchy quaggy sogmire,
    In the mashy mideous harshland,
    At the witchy hour of gloomness,
    All the grobes come oozing home.

    You can hear them softly slimeing,
    Glissing hissing o'er the slubber,
    All those oily boily bodies
    Oozing onward in the gloam.

    So start to run! Oh, skid and daddle
    Through the slubber slush and sossel!
    Skip jump hop and try to skaddle!
    All the grobes are on the roam!

    May 27, 2009

  • Don't think so, Milo. From the Online Etymology Dictionary: "O.E. glomung, formed (probably on model of æfning "evening") from glom "twilight," related to glowan "to glow," hence "glow of sunrise or sunset," from P.Gmc. *glo- (see glow). Fell from currency except in Yorkshire dialect, but preserved in Scotland and reintroduced by Burns and other Scottish writers after 1785."

    Which is interesting because I've never associated gloaming with dark. I've always thought it was evocative of diffuse light, all around you but without a specific source. But that's just me...

    Edit: Gloaming is special in Alaska because it can last for hours.

    May 27, 2009

  • Any relation to gloom, anyone know? Gloaming always calls gloom to mind for me -- not really the depressing part of it, just the dark part.

    Strangely, though it sounds a lot like gloat, the meanings aren't too similar. And gloat is another one of those words that I would say sounds an awful like what it means.

    May 27, 2009

  • I've often thought that "The Gloaming Deer" would be a good name for a pub.

    May 27, 2009

  • Or more accurately, I should have remembered.

    Gelatinous is perfect, isn't it?

    May 27, 2009

  • I should have known... :-)

    May 27, 2009

  • Absolutely, skip. Hence this list.

    May 26, 2009

  • Some words, without being onomatopoeic, seem to perfectly fit the item they name or describe. This is certainly one of them. So is brouhaha. And serene. I should make a list...

    May 26, 2009

  • My favourite word of all time!

    May 26, 2009

  • Always makes me think of one of the saddest short stories I've ever read: 'In the Gloaming,' by Alice Elliot Dark.

    September 24, 2007

  • Neato! I do enjoy that site. :-)

    September 24, 2007

  • Dusk A very evocative word. I made a Kuler color theme called Tuscan Gloaming:

     
     
     
     
     

    September 24, 2007

  • gloaming: fr. radiohead


    oooh... such a good track. Sadly, I've been using this word to describe my feelings and days. =( *sigh* finals.

    December 10, 2006