Definitions

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

  • adj. Moody and melancholy; dejected.
  • adj. Gloomy; dismal.
  • n. The quality or state of being moody, melancholy, and gloomy or an instance of it: "He was a charming mixture of glum and glee” ( Lillian Hellman).
  • n. Chiefly British The blues. Often used with the: "Most other publications have got the glums” ( Tina Brown).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To look sullen; to be of a sour countenance; to be glum.
  • adj. Sad, despondent.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Sullenness.
  • adj. Moody; silent; sullen.
  • intransitive v. To look sullen; to be of a sour countenance; to be glum.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To frown; look sullen or glum: same as gloom.
  • Gloomily sullen or silent; moody; frowning.
  • n. A sullen look; a frown.

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

  • adj. showing a brooding ill humor
  • adj. moody and melancholic

Etymologies

Probably akin to Middle English gloumen, to become dark; see gloom.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English glomen, glommen, glomben, gloumben ("to frown, look sullen"), from *glom (“gloom”). More at gloom. (Wiktionary)
Probably from Middle Low German glum ("glum"), related to German dialectal glumm ("gloomy, troubled, turbid"). More at gloomy. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • It's very hard to remain glum in the face of very high quality dark chocolate-covered caramel.

    Barnstorming on an Invisible Segway

  • His expression glum, Inspector Norizuki turned his eyes to the ashtray on the table.

    Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine

  • His demeanor was that of a person who is far from pleased with the course of events, and the word glum best describes his expression.

    A Life of Gen Robert E Lee

  • It took her two false starts - with analysts Bruni-Sarkozy described as "glum" - before she hit on the right one.

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  • And, the data are hardly "glum" as the story empahsizes.

    David C. Wilson: The AP-KN Poll Headline on Obama Ignores the Best Data

  • Of course, both films (Miami Vice and Spartan) are labelled as 'glum' by their detractors.

    Filmstalker Review: Miami Vice

  • Ed Gorman has noted that "Williams was quiet and possessed of a melancholy that imbued each of his tales with a kind of glum decorum."

    Archive 2007-05-01

  • I think we should be glum, as long as by "glum" we mean "working out how to fix it" rather than - as MKH suggested the other day - sitting around on the couch eating Ho-Ho's, wearing the electorate's T-shirt and muttering "they'll be back."

    The NYT pronounces the Federalist Society annual meeting "somber."

  • The Federalist Society is a diverse group with diverse views John Yoo and I, for example, have almost irreconcilable views on executive power, but in the current environemnt, I think we should be glum, as long as by "glum" we mean "working out how to fix it" rather than - as MKH suggested the other day - sitting around on the couch eating Ho-Ho's, wearing the electorate's T-shirt and muttering "they'll be back."

    The NYT pronounces the Federalist Society annual meeting "somber."

  • I brought this incident up with Pooh himself recently, and he was much put out by the news article's constant references to how "glum" he looked.

    Archive 2006-06-01

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