Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[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. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for dourly
Historical Examples
  • Balt Haer, who had obviously already had a few, looked at him dourly.

    Mercenary Dallas McCord Reynolds
  • "Leonid Plekhanov is no longer with us," Chessman said dourly.

    Adaptation Dallas McCord Reynolds
  • "Your uncle is only forty-five and in his prime," said Aunt Augusta dourly.

  • "He will find it best in this instance," says Saxham dourly.

    The Dop Doctor

    Clotilde Inez Mary Graves
  • "—Incorporated information and I can depend on it," said Bors dourly.

    Talents, Incorporated William Fitzgerald Jenkins
  • The co-pilot regarded them dourly, and Joe clenched his fists.

    Space Platform Murray Leinster
  • "Lie down on the floor," said Andrews dourly, without looking at him.

    The Honored Prophet William E. Bentley
  • MacGregor looked at him dourly, disgust and anger on his big red face.

    The Snow-Burner Henry Oyen
  • "About whether you're going to marry me or not," said Captain Ross, dourly.

  • "It's me," I said dourly, and I dropped my hands into a more convenient position.

    The Lost Valley J. M. Walsh
British Dictionary definitions for dourly


/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
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Contemporary definitions for dourly

bleak and gloomy

Word Origin

Latin durus 'hard'

Usage Note

meteorology's 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014, LLC
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for dourly



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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for dourly

Word Value for dourly

Scrabble Words With Friends