[doo r, douuh r, dou-er]
- 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
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
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 dourness
Rob turned on her with all the dourness of the Anguses in him.When a Man's Single
J. M. Barrie
His face had an ugly, sullen look, something of his father's dourness.The Pioneers
Katharine Susannah Prichard
Our Scottish kirk has a great reputation for dourness—but it has probably kindled more humour than it ever quenched.Law and Laughter
George Alexander Morton
Business is lively here, the chronic "dourness" of a market being discounted by the scarcity of horseflesh.Camps, Quarters and Casual Places
"You're as obstinate as the devil," smiled Peter, but in his heart he admired the dourness of his friend.The Yukon Trail
William MacLeod Raine
- hard or obstinate
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 dourness
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