Once you're out of breath, you might be within earshot of what that phrase conjures up in the United Kingdom: dullness.
For the past forty years critic James Wolcott has been a cerebral antidote to the dullness contaminating our cultural pages.
Luckily for him, this is Washington, where dullness can be prized if it is effective.
His address showed that he has the gift of humility, and his dullness was, in fact, proof of that new humility.
Doctors also possess a native sobriety—if not dullness—that seems flat-out senatorial at times.
Yes, to drive off the dullness, thought I; to get rid of the horror of thinking.
"Mais non," he retorted, annoyed at my dullness to comprehend.
She wanted him to strike fire against her mother's dullness.
For all her dullness, it was a signal from Sally that saved Andrew.
He rather prided himself on being dull, and on conquering in spite of his dullness.
c.1200, "stupid;" early 13c., "blunt, not sharp;" rare before mid-14c., apparently from Old English dol "dull-witted, foolish," or an unrecorded parallel word, or from Middle Low German dul "slow-witted," both from Proto-Germanic *dulaz (cf. Old Frisian and Old Saxon dol "foolish," Old High German tol, German toll "mad, wild," Gothic dwals "foolish"), from PIE *dheu- (1) "dust, vapor, smoke" (and related notions of "defective perception or wits"). Of color from early 15c.; of pain or other sensations from 1725. Sense of "boring" first recorded 1580s.
dull. (8) Not exhilarating; not delightful; as to make dictionaries is dull work. [Johnson]Dullsville, slang for "town where nothing happens," attested from 1960.
c.1200, "to grow weary, tire;" of pointed or edged things from c.1400; of the senses from 1550s; from dull (adj.). Related: Dulled; dulling.
adj. dull·er, dull·est
Lacking responsiveness or alertness; insensitive.
Not intensely or keenly felt, as in pain.