- disastrous; calamitous.
- unlucky; sinister.
- dislocation fracture,
- dismal science,
- dismal swamp,
Origin of dismal
Examples from the Web for dismally
There sat the deserted dog on his tail, howling most dismally as the boats drew up stream and left him behind.The Girls of Central High in Camp|Gertrude W. Morrison
"I'm perfectly sure I had better cable to Fred to-day that I have decided we can never be married at all," she declared, dismally.Living on a Little|Caroline French Benton
This, joined to this melancholy season, has given us all very serious alarm, and helped to make me write so dismally.The Life and Letters of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Volume I (of 2)|Florence A. Thomas Marshall
He sat at the window all afternoon, dismally trying to devise way of escape from the dilemma.Square Deal Sanderson|Charles Alden Seltzer
Some day,” thought Margot dismally to herself, “some day I shall laugh over this!Big Game|Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey
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.