Loom has two distinct meanings. First, a loom is a tool for weaving. Second, to loom is to appear or stand over someone in a threatening way. Don’t loom over the person you’re teaching to weave! You'll just make her nervous.

The word loom, as an instrument to turn yarn into fabric, comes from an Old English word for “tool.” The verb form, meaning “to lurk just out of view,” comes from Low German or Dutch. Anything that looms is coming into view slowly and isn't something you want to see. Although storm clouds and icebergs can loom, this word does not have to refer to a physical object. If a deadline looms, better get to work.

Primary Meanings of loom

a textile machine for weaving yarn into a textile
weave on a loom
come into view indistinctly, often threateningly
Full Definitions of loom

n a textile machine for weaving yarn into a textile

show 7 types...
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carpet loom
a loom for weaving carpeting
figure loom, figured-fabric loom
a loom for weaving figured fabrics
a loom powered by hand
Jacquard, Jacquard loom
a loom with an attachment for forming openings for the passage of the shuttle between the warp threads; used in weaving figured fabrics
power loom
a loom operated mechanically
high-warp loom
a handloom in which the warp is carried vertically; for weaving tapestry
a handloom in which the warp is carried horizontally; for weaving tapestry
Type of:
textile machine
a machine for making textiles

v weave on a loom

“materials loomed in Egypt”
Type of:
tissue, weave
create a piece of cloth by interlacing strands of fabric, such as wool or cotton

v come into view indistinctly, often threateningly

“Another air plane loomed into the sky”
Type of:
appear, look, seem
give a certain impression or have a certain outward aspect

v hang over, as of something threatening, dark, or menacing

brood, bulk large, hover
dominate, eclipse, overshadow
be greater in significance than
Type of:
be menacing, burdensome, or oppressive

v appear very large or occupy a commanding position

“Large shadows loomed on the canyon wall”
hulk, predominate, tower
Type of:
lift, rear, rise
rise up

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