[ door, douuhr, dou-er ]
/ dʊər, daʊər, ˈdaʊ ər /


sullen; gloomy: The captain's dour look depressed us all.
severe; stern: His dour criticism made us regret having undertaken the job.
Scot. (of land) barren; rocky, infertile, or otherwise difficult or impossible to cultivate.

Nearby words

  1. doumergue, gaston,
  2. doun,
  3. dounreay,
  4. doup,
  5. douppioni,
  6. doura,
  7. dourine,
  8. dourly,
  9. douro,
  10. douroucouli

Origin of dour

1325–75; Middle English < Latin dūrus dure1

Related formsdour·ly, adverbdour·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for dour

British Dictionary definitions for dour


/ (dʊə, ˈdaʊə) /


hard or obstinate
Derived Formsdourly, adverbdourness, noun

Word Origin for dour

C14: probably from Latin dūrus hard

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 dour



mid-14c., "severe," from Scottish and northern England dialect, probably from Latin durus "hard" (see endure); sense of "gloomy, sullen" is late 15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper