- 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
Examples from the Web for bleakness
One act chronicles the bleakness of living under Capitol rule in Panem.‘Catching Fire’ Review: Bigger, More Polished, and Just Another Popcorn Flick
November 14, 2013
The beauty of this image and the bleakness of its meaning hang suspended in perfect balance.Three Cheers for Alice Munro’s Nobel Prize in Literature
October 10, 2013
What is it about bleakness and tedium that are so attractive, other than the fact that most people instinctively recoil from it?Why All the Hate for Les Mis?
January 7, 2013
Outside, on the bleakness of the avenue where the president lives, Washington looked anything but normal.Hurricane Sandy Turns Washington, D.C., Into a Ghost Town
October 30, 2012
And he liked East Wellmouth, bareness and bleakness and lonesomeness and all.Galusha the Magnificent
Joseph C. Lincoln
There was a bleakness about the situation which made one gasp.Jill the Reckless
P. G. (Pelham Grenville) Wodehouse
But as she entered it that afternoon its air of peace seemed the bleakness of desolation.Robert Orange
John Oliver Hobbes
But in partial compensation for this bleakness is a fine ruggedness.Contemporary American Composers
The warmth of the room was very agreeable in contrast to the bleakness of out-doors.At Fault
- exposed and barren; desolate
- cold and raw
- offering little hope or excitement; dismala bleak future
- any slender silvery European cyprinid fish of the genus Alburnus, esp A. lucidus, occurring in slow-flowing rivers
Word Origin and History for bleakness
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."