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90s Slang You Should Know


[doo r, douuh r, dou-er] /dʊər, daʊər, ˈdaʊ ər/
sullen; gloomy:
The captain's dour look depressed us all.
severe; stern:
His dour criticism made us regret having undertaken the job.
Scot. (of land) barren; rocky, infertile, or otherwise difficult or impossible to cultivate.
Origin of dour
1325-75; Middle English < Latin dūrus dure1
Related forms
dourly, adverb
dourness, noun
1. morose, sour, moody. See glum. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for dourest
Historical Examples
  • The rôle fitted him very well, for he is the dourest politician in Yugoslavia—a perfectly honest, upright, injudicious patriot.

  • Mr Adam Wilkie is a Scot of the dourest and most sepulchral appearance.

    A Safety Match Ian Hay
  • Even the humour, which proved his redemption, was as dour and grim as Scotland can furnish at her grimmes: and dourest.

    A Book of Scoundrels Charles Whibley
  • I have not tried the evening fishing, but at all other times of day have found them the “dourest” of trout, and they grow dourer.

    Angling Sketches Andrew Lang
  • When he opened his cabin door he was confronted by the dourest aspect of the north that he had yet seen.

    Burned Bridges Bertrand W. Sinclair
  • And this is how one Englishwoman found out that the Scot is at once the dourest and the tenderest of men.

  • And so we might, had it not been for the innate depravity of man as exemplified in the dourest driver that ever handled reins.

    From Gretna Green to Land's End Katharine Lee Bates
British Dictionary definitions for dourest


/dʊə; ˈdaʊə/
hard or obstinate
Derived Forms
dourly, adverb
dourness, noun
Word Origin
C14: probably from Latin dūrus hard
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Contemporary definitions for dourest

bleak and gloomy

Word Origin

Latin durus 'hard'

Usage Note

meteorology's 21st Century Lexicon
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Word Origin and History for dourest



mid-14c., "severe," from Scottish and northern England dialect, probably from Latin durus "hard" (see endure); sense of "gloomy, sullen" is late 15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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