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bleak1

[bleek]
See more synonyms for bleak on Thesaurus.com
adjective, bleak·er, bleak·est.
  1. bare, desolate, and often windswept: a bleak plain.
  2. cold and piercing; raw: a bleak wind.
  3. without hope or encouragement; depressing; dreary: a bleak future.
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Origin of bleak1

1300–50; Middle English bleke pale, blend of variants bleche (Old English blǣc) and blake (Old English blāc); both cognate with Old Norse bleikr, German bleich; akin to bleach
Related formsbleak·ish, adjectivebleak·ly, adverbbleak·ness, noun

Synonym study

3. See austere.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for bleaker

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • The rain had ceased; but the night was dark, and the wind was bleaker than ever.

  • Greg's face was bleaker than usual as he turned from the board to look at Russ.

    Empire

    Clifford Donald Simak

  • The bleaker the situation, so it is near a stream border, the better the cassiope loves it.

  • They reached Waterville an hour later, and they found it even smaller and bleaker than they expected.

    The Candidate

    Joseph Alexander Altsheler

  • It is like a fire that flares up brilliantly for a while and then leaves everything blacker and bleaker than before.


British Dictionary definitions for bleaker

bleak1

adjective
  1. exposed and barren; desolate
  2. cold and raw
  3. offering little hope or excitement; dismala bleak future
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Derived Formsbleakly, adverbbleakness, noun

Word Origin

Old English blāc bright, pale; related to Old Norse bleikr white, Old High German bleih pale

bleak2

noun
  1. any slender silvery European cyprinid fish of the genus Alburnus, esp A. lucidus, occurring in slow-flowing rivers
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Word Origin

C15: probably from Old Norse bleikja white colour; related to Old High German bleiche bleach
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 bleaker

bleak

adj.

c.1300, "pale," from Old Norse bleikr "pale, whitish, blond," from Proto-Germanic *blaika- "shining, white," from PIE root *bhel- (1) "to shine, flash, burn" (see bleach (v.)). Later "bare, windswept" (1530s). Sense of "cheerless" is c.1719 figurative extension. The same Germanic root produced Old English blac "pale," but this died out, probably from confusion with blæc "black;" however bleak persisted, with a sense of "bare" as well as "pale."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper