glom

To figuratively grab or seize something is to glom onto it. A local newspaper might simply glom onto whatever stories the larger national papers are covering.

While you can also use glom to simply mean "steal," as when a pickpocket gloms your wallet in the subway, today we often use this verb to describe a kind of latching on to an idea, issue, or topic. If polls show most voters care about income inequality, every single candidate is likely to glom onto this theme in some way. The "steal" meaning is oldest, an American word borrowed from the Scottish glaum.

Definitions of glom
  1. verb
    seize upon or latch onto something
    “The Republicans glommed onto Whitewater”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    acquire, get
    come into the possession of something concrete or abstract
  2. verb
    take by theft
    synonyms: cop, hook, knock off, snitch, thieve
    see moresee less
    type of:
    steal
    take without the owner's consent
Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.

SAT/PSAT

$19.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$19.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week