• synonyms


[door, douuhr, dou-er]
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  1. sullen; gloomy: The captain's dour look depressed us all.
  2. severe; stern: His dour criticism made us regret having undertaken the job.
  3. Scot. (of land) barren; rocky, infertile, or otherwise difficult or impossible to cultivate.
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Origin of dour

1325–75; Middle English < Latin dūrus dure1
Related formsdour·ly, adverbdour·ness, noun

Synonyms for dour

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1. morose, sour, moody. See glum.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for dour

sullen, morose, harsh, glum, surly, bleak, dismal, dreary, forbidding, hard, saturnine, severe, sour, stringent, sulky, ugly, unfriendly, crabbed

Examples from the Web for dour

Contemporary Examples of dour

Historical Examples of dour

  • Grim, dour, silent, it waited for the beginning of hostilities.

  • He's jist as dour as ever, and as far as man could weel be frae them he cam o'!

    Salted With Fire

    George MacDonald

  • When they were so poor and the future so dour, how could she keep from earning a little money?

    In a Little Town

    Rupert Hughes

  • A most curious, dour, and moody man, with a mind roving from key to key.

    John Splendid

    Neil Munro

  • Nobody was surprised, since this dour officer had been in trouble before.

    The Man Who Knew

    Edgar Wallace

British Dictionary definitions for dour


  1. sullen
  2. hard or obstinate
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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper