Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[bleek] /blik/
adjective, bleaker, bleakest.
bare, desolate, and often windswept:
a bleak plain.
cold and piercing; raw:
a bleak wind.
without hope or encouragement; depressing; dreary:
a bleak future.
Origin of bleak1
1300-50; Middle English bleke pale, blend of variants bleche (Old English blǣc) and blake (Old English blāc); both cognate with Old Norse bleikr, German bleich; akin to bleach
Related forms
bleakish, adjective
bleakly, adverb
bleakness, noun
Synonym Study
3. See austere. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for bleakest
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • T is your own mother you take after; you might put her down in the bleakest spot of Ireland, and 't is a garden she 'd make it.

    The Daltons, Volume I (of II) Charles James Lever
  • A gray dawn was breaking, and this is the coldest and bleakest hour of the day.

    Left on the Labrador Dillon Wallace
  • And somewhere lost in the maze of his thoughts was the grimmest, bleakest reality of them all: Lucy was dead.

    Voyage To Eternity Milton Lesser
  • It was near the setting of the sun on one of the bleakest and coldest days of the year.

    The Tory Maid Herbert Baird Stimpson
  • With good reason, too, for it was the dreariest, bleakest place in winter you can imagine.

    The Knack of Managing Lewis K. Urquhart and Herbert Watson
British Dictionary definitions for bleakest


exposed and barren; desolate
cold and raw
offering little hope or excitement; dismal: a bleak future
Derived Forms
bleakly, adverb
bleakness, noun
Word Origin
Old English blāc bright, pale; related to Old Norse bleikr white, Old High German bleih pale


any slender silvery European cyprinid fish of the genus Alburnus, esp A. lucidus, occurring in slow-flowing rivers
Word Origin
C15: probably from Old Norse bleikja white colour; related to Old High German bleichebleach
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for bleakest



c.1300, "pale," from Old Norse bleikr "pale, whitish, blond," from Proto-Germanic *blaika- "shining, white," from PIE root *bhel- (1) "to shine, flash, burn" (see bleach (v.)). Later "bare, windswept" (1530s). Sense of "cheerless" is c.1719 figurative extension. The same Germanic root produced Old English blac "pale," but this died out, probably from confusion with blæc "black;" however bleak persisted, with a sense of "bare" as well as "pale."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for bleak

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for bleakest

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for bleakest