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dreary

[dreer-ee]
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adjective, drear·i·er, drear·i·est.
  1. causing sadness or gloom.
  2. dull; boring.
  3. sorrowful; sad.
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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

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Antonyms

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

tediousdingywretchedlonelyhumdrummonotonouscolorlessboringdampsombersaddepressingwindydismaluneventfuldrabforlornwintryuninterestingdull

Examples from the Web for dreary

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • He found the district to the north to be a dreary waste, destitute of food and water.

  • There was the dreary monotone of crushed hope in Porter's voice as he spoke.

    Thoroughbreds

    W. A. Fraser

  • I have one dreary, cold room, as unlike this as two rooms can be.

  • All was deep, dreary darkness, but Siegfried had not learned fear.

  • The state or condition in which the wicked cease from struggling and the dreary are at rest.


British Dictionary definitions for dreary

dreary

adjective drearier or dreariest
  1. sad or dull; dismal
  2. wearying; boring
  3. archaic miserable
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Also (literary): drear
Derived Formsdrearily, adverbdreariness, noun

Word Origin

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 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."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper