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dour

[doo r, douuh r, dou-er]
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adjective
  1. sullen; gloomy: The captain's dour look depressed us all.
  2. severe; stern: His dour criticism made us regret having undertaken the job.
  3. Scot. (of land) barren; rocky, infertile, or otherwise difficult or impossible to cultivate.
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Origin of dour

1325–75; Middle English < Latin dūrus dure1
Related formsdour·ly, adverbdour·ness, noun

Synonyms

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1. morose, sour, moody. See glum.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for dourest

Historical Examples

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

    A Safety Match

    Ian Hay

  • The rôle fitted him very well, for he is the dourest politician in Yugoslavia—a perfectly honest, upright, injudicious patriot.

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

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

  • 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


British Dictionary definitions for dourest

dour

adjective
  1. sullen
  2. hard or obstinate
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Derived Formsdourly, adverbdourness, 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 Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for dourest

dour

adj.

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper