[ dreer-ee ]
See synonyms for: drearydrearinessdrearisome on Thesaurus.com

adjective,drear·i·er, drear·i·est.
  1. causing sadness or gloom.

  2. dull; boring.

  1. sorrowful; sad.

Origin of dreary

before 900; Middle English drery,Old English drēorig gory, cruel, sad, equivalent to drēor gore + -ig-y1; akin to Old Norse dreyrigr bloody, German traurig sad

Other words for dreary

Opposites for dreary

Other words from dreary

  • drear·i·ly, adverb
  • drear·i·ness, noun
  • drear·i·some, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use dreary in a sentence

  • The clerk pored over a ledger, and from the gray afternoon the cries of the porters in Covent Garden came drearily in.

    Plashers Mead | Compton Mackenzie
  • His look of a bygone awake-in-sleep old look, drearily known to her, was like a strip of sunlight on a fortress wall.

British Dictionary definitions for dreary


/ (ˈdrɪərɪ) /

adjectivedrearier or dreariest
  1. sad or dull; dismal

  2. wearying; boring

  1. archaic miserable

Origin of dreary

Old English drēorig gory; related to Old High German trūreg sad
  • Also (literary): drear

Derived forms of dreary

  • drearily, adverb
  • dreariness, noun

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