- lacking variety; boring; dull: a humdrum existence.
- humdrum character or routine; monotony.
- monotonous or tedious talk.
- Archaic. a dull, boring person.
Origin of humdrum
1545–55; earlier humtrum, rhyming compound based on hum
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1. tedious, routine, mundane, tiresome.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for hum-drum
Why didn't you say, 'You make life too hum-drum, too commonplace for him.A Widow's Tale and Other Stories
Mrs. (Margaret) Oliphant
The town so hum-drum to-day has a stirring history to look back on.Heroic Spain
Elizabeth Boyle O'Reilly
I had no society there, and of course, got tired of my hum-drum life.Sevenoaks
J. G. Holland
My weariness of this hum-drum, work-a-day life has grown so heavy it is like to crush me.Alaska Days with John Muir
Samuel Hall Young
Hum-Drum and Kopy-Keck applied themselves to their physics and metaphysics; but in vain.
- ordinary; dull
- a monotonous routine, task, or person
C16: rhyming compound, probably based on hum
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 hum-drum
also humdrum, "routine, monotonous," 1550s, probably a reduplication of hum.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper