Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[dreer-ee] /ˈdrɪər i/
adjective, drearier, dreariest.
causing sadness or gloom.
dull; boring.
sorrowful; sad.
Origin of dreary
before 900; Middle English drery, Old English drēorig gory, cruel, sad, equivalent to drēor gore + -ig -y1; akin to Old Norse dreyrigr bloody, German traurig sad
Related forms
drearily, adverb
dreariness, noun
drearisome, adjective
1. gloomy, dismal, drear, cheerless, depressing, comfortless. 2. tedious, monotonous, wearisome, tiresome.
1. cheerful. 2. interesting. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for dreariness
Historical Examples
  • So, she went through the inferno of days and nights in a dreariness of suffering that was deadly.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • Do you suppose I do not understand the dreariness it has been for you?

    The Gentleman From Indiana Booth Tarkington
  • She takes a fancy to the dreariness, and always carries the key with her.

  • The weather was much the same; but its dreariness had vanished.

    Ranald Bannerman's Boyhood George MacDonald
  • Now the bigness only emphasized the dreariness and desolation.

    Thankful's Inheritance Joseph C. Lincoln
  • The gloom and dreariness suited well the "habit of his soul."

    St. Patrick's Eve Charles James Lever
  • Nathalie's departure, however, seemed to break the spell of his dreariness.

    The Genius

    Margaret Horton Potter
  • But he was not so, and as he rode he thought the morning scene of a twilight dreariness.

    The Long Roll Mary Johnston
  • So the afternoon slipped away without the dreariness of the morning.

    The Boy Scout Treasure Hunters Charles Henry Lerrigo
  • The dreariness and uncertainty of our situation can hardly be imagined.

    Left on Labrador

    Charles Asbury Stephens
British Dictionary definitions for dreariness


adjective drearier, dreariest
sad or dull; dismal
wearying; boring
(archaic) miserable
Also (literary) drear
Derived Forms
drearily, adverb
dreariness, noun
Word Origin
Old English drēorig gory; related to Old High German trūreg sad
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
Word Origin and History for dreariness

Old English dreorinysse; see dreary + -ness.



Old English dreorig "sad, sorrowful," originally "cruel, bloody, blood-stained," from dreor "gore, blood," from (ge)dreosan (past participle droren) "fall, decline, fail," from West Germanic *dreuzas (cf. Old Norse dreyrigr "gory, bloody," and more remotely, German traurig "sad, sorrowful"), from PIE root *dhreu- "to fall, flow, drip, droop" (see drip (v.)).

The word has lost its original sense of "dripping blood." Sense of "dismal, gloomy" first recorded 1667 in "Paradise Lost," but Old English had a related verb drysmian "become gloomy."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for dreariness

Word Value for dreariness

Scrabble Words With Friends