dreary

[dreer-ee]

adjective, drear·i·er, drear·i·est.

causing sadness or gloom.
dull; boring.
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
Related formsdrear·i·ly, adverbdrear·i·ness, noundrear·i·some, adjective

Synonyms for dreary

Antonyms for dreary

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


Examples from the Web for dreariness

Historical Examples of dreariness


British Dictionary definitions for dreariness

dreary

adjective drearier or dreariest

sad or dull; dismal
wearying; boring
archaic miserable
Also (literary): drear
Derived Formsdrearily, adverbdreariness, noun

Word Origin for dreary

Old English drēorig gory; related to Old High German trūreg sad
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 dreariness
n.

Old English dreorinysse; see dreary + -ness.

dreary

adj.

Old English dreorig "sad, sorrowful," originally "cruel, bloody, blood-stained," from dreor "gore, blood," from (ge)dreosan (past participle droren) "fall, decline, fail," from West Germanic *dreuzas (cf. Old Norse dreyrigr "gory, bloody," and more remotely, German traurig "sad, sorrowful"), from PIE root *dhreu- "to fall, flow, drip, droop" (see drip (v.)).

The word has lost its original sense of "dripping blood." Sense of "dismal, gloomy" first recorded 1667 in "Paradise Lost," but Old English had a related verb drysmian "become gloomy."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper