Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

The Best Internet Slang

bleak1

[bleek] /blik/
adjective, bleaker, bleakest.
1.
bare, desolate, and often windswept:
a bleak plain.
2.
cold and piercing; raw:
a bleak wind.
3.
without hope or encouragement; depressing; dreary:
a bleak future.
Origin of bleak1
1300-1350
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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for bleakest
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A gray dawn was breaking, and this is the coldest and bleakest hour of the day.

    Left on the Labrador Dillon Wallace
  • 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
  • He looked the saddest, sickest, bleakest creature I had ever seen.

  • As for me, I would not change the bleakest of them for the province of Champagne.

    Doom Castle Neil Munro
  • It was a heavy forenoon for me, perhaps the bleakest and dreariest of my life.

    The Book of Susan Lee Wilson Dodd
British Dictionary definitions for bleakest

bleak1

/bliːk/
adjective
1.
exposed and barren; desolate
2.
cold and raw
3.
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

bleak2

/bliːk/
noun
1.
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

bleak

adj.

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

14
16
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for bleakest