- disastrous; calamitous.
- unlucky; sinister.
- dislocation fracture,
- dismal science,
- dismal swamp,
Origin of dismal
Examples from the Web for dismal
While it is sadly too late for Ms. Peña, there is hope beyond these dismal facts.Elizabeth Peña and the Truth About Alcoholic Women|Gabrielle Glaser|October 24, 2014|DAILY BEAST
But there was still a paper to get out in Washington, and I went there late in the afternoon to tackle the dismal job.The Stacks: H.L. Mencken on the 1904 Baltimore Fire|H.L. Mencken|October 4, 2014|DAILY BEAST
GBM is a devastating diagnosis for a neurosurgeon to deliver to a patient and their family, one with a dismal outcome.Why Men May Be More Likely to Get Deadly Brain Cancer|Dr. Anand Veeravagu, MD, Tej Azad|August 5, 2014|DAILY BEAST
It sounds like a dismal new episode of the new 24: Live Another Day.It’s Not Time to Worry About China’s Plague Just Yet|Kent Sepkowitz|July 23, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Shattered by the verdict, I understood our country to be in a dismal state.Maya Angelou Knew How To Inspire As A Writer, Teacher, and Great Human Being|Joshua DuBois|May 28, 2014|DAILY BEAST
But even while he was lying wide awake, it began again, and it was such a dismal sound he could feel the goose-flesh forming.The Quest|Frederik van Eeden
Do you really think she will not be enchanted to get away from that dismal hole, and live with honest people?The Carbonels|Charlotte M. Yonge
I saw the dismal panes and my mother standing between them and me.Room Number 3|Anna Katharine Green
It would need a hoop of steel to keep them near such a dismal old sawmonger.Pipefuls|Christopher Morley
He took the first opportunity, when they were alone, and told her he was glad to find she was only dismal at home.A Simpleton|Charles Reade
Word Origin for dismal
c.1400, from Anglo-French dismal (mid-13c.), from Old French (li) dis mals "(the) bad days," from Medieval Latin dies mali "evil or unlucky days" (also called dies Ægyptiaci), from Latin dies "days" (see diurnal) + mali, plural of malus "bad" (see mal-).
Through the Middle Ages, calendars marked two days of each month as unlucky, supposedly based on the ancient calculations of Egyptian astrologers (Jan. 1, 25; Feb. 4, 26; March 1, 28; April 10, 20; May 3, 25; June 10, 16; July 13, 22; Aug. 1, 30; Sept. 3, 21; Oct. 3, 22; Nov. 5, 28; Dec. 7, 22). Modern sense of "gloomy, dreary" first recorded in English 1590s, in reference to sounds. Related: Dismally.