[door, douuhr, dou-er]


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.

Origin of dour

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

Synonyms for dour

1. morose, sour, moody. See glum. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for dourly

Historical Examples of dourly

  • Balt Haer, who had obviously already had a few, looked at him dourly.


    Dallas McCord Reynolds

  • "Leonid Plekhanov is no longer with us," Chessman said dourly.


    Dallas McCord Reynolds

  • "Your uncle is only forty-five and in his prime," said Aunt Augusta dourly.

  • "He will find it best in this instance," says Saxham dourly.

    The Dop Doctor

    Clotilde Inez Mary Graves

  • "—Incorporated information and I can depend on it," said Bors dourly.

    Talents, Incorporated

    William Fitzgerald Jenkins

British Dictionary definitions for dourly



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 dourly



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