Etymology
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gloom (n.)

1590s, originally Scottish, "a sullen look," probably from gloom (v.) "look sullen or displeased" (late 14c., gloumen), of unknown origin; perhaps from an unrecorded Old English verb or from a Scandinavian source (compare Norwegian dialectal glome "to stare somberly"), or from Middle Low German glum "turbid," Dutch gluren "to leer." Not considered to be related to Old English glom "twilight" (see gloaming).

Sense of "darkness, obscurity" is first recorded 1629 in Milton's poetry; that of "melancholy, dejection, cloudiness or cheerless heaviness of mind" is from 1744; but gloomy with a corresponding sense is attested from 1580s.

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gloomy (adj.)

1580s, probably from gloom (n.) even though that word is not attested as early as this one. Shakespeare used it of woods, Marlowe of persons. Gloomy Gus has been used in a general sense of "sullen person" since 1902, the name of a pessimistic and defeatist newspaper comics character introduced about that time by U.S. illustrator Frederick Burr Opper. Related: Gloomily; gloominess.

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glum (adj.)

1540s, "sullen, moody, frowning," from Middle English gloumen (v.) "become dark" (c. 1300), later gloumben "look gloomy or sullen" (late 14c.); see gloom. Or from or influenced by Low German glum "gloomy, troubled, turbid." In English the word was also formerly a noun meaning "a sullen look" (1520s). An 18c. extended or colloquial form glump led to the expression the glumps "a fit of sulkiness." Glunch (1719) was a Scottish variant. Related: Glumly; glumness.

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cloud (v.)

early 15c., "overspread with clouds, cover, darken," from cloud (n.). From 1510s as "to render dim or obscure;" 1590s as "to overspread with gloom." Intransitive sense of "become cloudy" is from 1560s. Related: Clouded; clouding.

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overcloud (v.)

"to cover or overspread with clouds," also figurative, "to cover with gloom or sorrow," 1590s, from over- + cloud (v.). Related: Overclouded; overclouding.

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melancholiac (n.)

"person afflicted with melancholy, one who is affected with mental gloom," 1819, from melancholia. Earlier in same sense were melancholian (1630s), melancholist (1590s), melancholic (1580s).

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zephyr (n.)

mid-14c., from Old English Zefferus, from Latin Zephyrus (source also of French zéphire, Spanish zefiro, Italian zeffiro), from Greek Zephyros "the west wind" (sometimes personified as a god), probably related to zophos "the west, the dark region, darkness, gloom." Extended sense of "mild breeze" is c. 1600. Related: Zephyrean.

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melancholy (adj.)

late 14c., malencolie, "mixed with or caused by black bile;" also, of persons, "sullen, gloomy, sad, affected by low spirits," from melancholy (n.). Meaning "expressive of sadness" is from 1590s; sense of "deplorable, fitted to produce sadness or gloom" (of a fact or state of things) is by 1710.

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caliginous (adj.)

"dim, obscure, dark," 1540s, from Latin caliginosus "misty," from caliginem (nominative caligo) "mistiness, darkness, fog, gloom," which is of uncertain origin. De Vaan's entry for it compares Greek kēlas "mottled; windy" (of clouds), kēlis "stain, spot;" perhaps Sanskrit kala- "black," Latin calidus "with a white mark on the forehead." Related: Calignously; caliginosity.

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thrush (n.1)

type of songbird, Old English þræsce, variant of þrysce, from Proto-Germanic *thruskjon (source also of Old Norse þröstr, Norwegian trost, Old High German drosca), from PIE *trozdo- (source also of Latin turdus, Lithuanian strazdas "thrush," Middle Irish truid, Welsh drudwy "starling," Old Church Slavonic drozgu, Russian drozdu).

An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small,
      In blast-beruffled plume,
Had chosen thus to fling his soul
      Upon the growing gloom.
[Hardy, "The Darkling Thrush," Dec. 31, 1900]
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