weaving machine, early 13c. shortening of Old English geloma "utensil, tool," from ge-, perfective prefix, + -loma, an element of unknown origin (compare Old English andloman (plural) "apparatus, article of furniture"). Originally "implement or tool of any kind" (as in heirloom); thus, "the penis" (c. 1400-1600). Specific meaning "a machine in which yarn or thread is woven into fabric" is from c. 1400.
1540s, "to come into view largely and indistinctly," of uncertain origin. According to OED perhaps from a Scandinavian or Low German source (compare dialectal Swedish loma, East Frisian lomen "move slowly"), which is perhaps from the root of lame (adj.). Early used also of ships moving up and down. Figurative use from 1590s. Related: Loomed; looming.
updated on August 20, 2016