- not sharp; blunt: a dull knife.
- causing boredom; tedious; uninteresting: a dull sermon.
- not lively or spirited; listless.
- not bright, intense, or clear; dim: a dull day; a dull sound.
- having very little depth of color; lacking in richness or intensity of color.
- slow in motion or action; not brisk; sluggish: a dull day in the stock market.
- mentally slow; lacking brightness of mind; somewhat stupid; obtuse.
- lacking keenness of perception in the senses or feelings; insensible; unfeeling.
- not intense or acute: a dull pain.
- to make or become dull.
Origin of dull
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for dully
"I don't know why you come around bothering me," she said dully.K
Mary Roberts Rinehart
"I paid it to Squire Hall to-day and he has it fer ye," said Hiram, dully.Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates
They advanced to the topic again and again, dully, but with exaltation.Howards End
E. M. Forster
The captain looked at him dully; then, understanding, a cackle came from his throat.Under Arctic Ice
As he had crossed the threshold, Beatrix had raised her head and looked at him dully.The Dominant Strain
Anna Chapin Ray
- slow to think or understand; stupid
- lacking in interest
- lacking in perception or the ability to respond; insensitive
- lacking sharpness; blunt
- not acute, intense, or piercing
- (of weather) not bright or clear; cloudy
- not active, busy, or brisk
- lacking in spirit or animation; listless
- (of colour) lacking brilliance or brightness; sombre
- not loud or clear; muffled
- med (of sound elicited by percussion, esp of the chest) not resonant
- to make or become dull
Word Origin and History for dully
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.
- Lacking responsiveness or alertness; insensitive.
- Not intensely or keenly felt, as in pain.