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[luhl] /lʌl/
verb (used with object)
to put to sleep or rest by soothing means:
to lull a child by singing.
to soothe or quiet.
to give or lead to feel a false sense of safety; cause to be less alert, aware, or watchful.
verb (used without object)
to quiet down, let up, or subside:
furious activity that finally lulled.
a temporary calm, quiet, or stillness:
a lull in a storm.
a soothing sound:
the lull of falling waters.
a pacified or stupefied condition:
The drug had put him in a lull.
Origin of lull
1300-50; Middle English lullen, of expressive orig.; compare Swedish lulla, German lullen, Latin lallāre to sing lullaby
Related forms
luller, noun
lullingly, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for lull
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • London probably soon sprang, phœnix-like, from the fire, though history leaves it in darkness to enjoy a lull of 200 years.

    Old and New London Walter Thornbury
  • There was a lull in the trade whilst the scribes were making entries on their tablets.

    "Unto Caesar" Baroness Emmuska Orczy
  • During a moment's lull in the conversation the hour was struck from a neighboring steeple.

  • See that your guns are well supplied with ammunition during the lull.

    The Monitor and the Merrimac J. L. Worden et al.
  • But during a lull the air cleared of snow-dust and I paused to look about me.

    Wild Life on the Rockies Enos A. Mills
British Dictionary definitions for lull


to soothe (a person or animal) by soft sounds or motions (esp in the phrase lull to sleep)
to calm (someone or someone's fears, suspicions, etc), esp by deception
a short period of calm or diminished activity
Derived Forms
lulling, adjective
Word Origin
C14: possibly imitative of crooning sounds; related to Middle Low German lollen to soothe, Middle Dutch lollen to talk drowsily, mumble
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
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Word Origin and History for lull

early 14c., lullen "hush to sleep," probably imitative of lu-lu sound used to lull a child to sleep (cf. Swedish lulla "to hum a lullaby," German lullen "to rock," Sanskrit lolati "moves to and fro," Middle Dutch lollen "to mutter"). Figurative use from 1570s. Related: Lulled; lulling.


1650s as the name of a soothing drink, from lull (v.). Meaning "period of quiet in a storm" is from 1815.


1650s as the name of a soothing drink, from lull (v.). Meaning "period of quiet in a storm" is from 1815.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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