definitions
  • synonyms

dismal

[ diz-muhl ]
/ ˈdɪz məl /
||
SEE MORE SYNONYMS FOR dismal ON THESAURUS.COM

adjective

causing gloom or dejection; gloomy; dreary; cheerless; melancholy: dismal weather.
characterized by ineptness or lack of skill, competence, effectiveness, imagination, or interest; pitiful: Our team played a dismal game.
Obsolete.
  1. disastrous; calamitous.
  2. unlucky; sinister.

noun

Southern U.S. a tract of swampy land, usually along the coast.

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RELATED WORDS

dim, horrid, murky, discouraging, sad, depressing, ghastly, horrible, miserable, dull, disheartening, black, boring, cheerless, cloudy, dark, depressed, desolate, despondent, dingy

Nearby words

dislocation, dislocation fracture, dislodge, disloyal, disloyalty, dismal, dismal science, dismal swamp, dismally, dismantle, dismast

Origin of dismal

1275–1325; Middle English dismale unlucky time, dismol day one of two days in each month considered unlucky (hence later taken as adj.) < Anglo-French dis mal < Medieval Latin diēs malī literally, evil days
SYNONYMS FOR dismal
Related formsdis·mal·ly, adverbdis·mal·ness, dis·mal·i·ty, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for dismal

dismal

/ (ˈdɪzməl) /

adjective

causing gloom or depression
causing dismay or terror
of poor quality or a low standard; feeble
Derived Formsdismally, adverbdismalness, noun

Word Origin for dismal

C13: from dismal (noun) list of 24 unlucky days in the year, from Medieval Latin diēs malī bad days, from Latin diēs day + malus bad
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