bleak

1
[ bleek ]
/ blik /

adjective, bleak·er, bleak·est.

bare, desolate, and often windswept: a bleak plain.
cold and piercing; raw: a bleak wind.
without hope or encouragement; depressing; dreary: a bleak future.

Origin of bleak

1
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. 2019

Examples from the Web for bleakness

British Dictionary definitions for bleakness (1 of 2)

bleak

1
/ (bliːk) /

adjective

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

Word Origin for bleak

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

British Dictionary definitions for bleakness (2 of 2)

bleak

2
/ (bliːk) /

noun

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

Word Origin for bleak

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