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2017 Word of the Year

bland

[bland] /blænd/
adjective, blander, blandest.
1.
pleasantly gentle or agreeable:
a bland, affable manner.
2.
soothing or balmy, as air:
a bland southern breeze.
3.
nonirritating, as food or medicines:
a bland diet.
4.
not highly flavored; mild; tasteless:
a bland sauce.
5.
lacking in special interest, liveliness, individuality, etc.; insipid; dull:
a bland young man; a bland situation comedy.
6.
unemotional, indifferent, or casual:
his bland acknowledgment of guilt.
Origin of bland
1590-1600
First recorded in 1590-1600, bland is from the Latin word blandus of a smooth tongue, pleasant, soothing
Related forms
blandly, adverb
blandness, noun
Synonyms
1. affable, mild, amiable; suave, urbane. 2, 3. soft, mild.
Antonyms
1. cruel; boorish. 2. harsh. 3. irritating.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for blandest
Historical Examples
  • The latter met the stare with a look of the blandest serenity.

    Fair Harbor

    Joseph Crosby Lincoln
  • And it was all repeated to him in the blandest manner in the world.

  • I bowed and returned in the blandest tone, "That is not known to you at any rate, Sir."

    Daring and Suffering: William Pittenger
  • Mrs. Trevor beheld in him the mellowest and blandest of men.

    The Rough Road

    William John Locke
  • “I demand a thousand pardons, monsieur,” he exclaimed, with the blandest of smiles.

    Marmaduke Merry William H. G. Kingston
  • Of course you havent, he said in his blandest, most reassuring manner.

    Under Cover Roi Cooper Megrue
  • Better the rankest affirmations than the blandest negatives.

    Iconoclasts

    James Huneker
  • While they were making the arrangements, Algy came up in his blandest manner.

    Aaron's Rod D. H. Lawrence
  • The Colonel springs off his horse, and Barnes greets him in the blandest manner.

    The Newcomes William Makepeace Thackeray
  • "Madame makes an excellent pleasantry," he said with a smile of the blandest.

British Dictionary definitions for blandest

bland

/blænd/
adjective
1.
devoid of any distinctive or stimulating characteristics; uninteresting; dull: bland food
2.
gentle and agreeable; suave
3.
(of the weather) mild and soothing
4.
unemotional or unmoved: a bland account of atrocities
See also bland out
Derived Forms
blandly, adverb
blandness, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Latin blandus flattering
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for blandest

bland

adj.

1660s, from Italian blando "delicate," or Old French bland "flattering, complimentary," both from Latin blandus "smooth-talking, flattering, alluring," perhaps from PIE *mlad-, nasalized variant of *meld-, extended form of root *mel- (see melt). Related: Blandly; blandness. Latin also had blandiloquentulus "flattering in speech," which might have yielded a useful English *blandiloquent.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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