- not sharp; blunt: a dull knife.
- causing boredom; tedious; uninteresting: a dull sermon.
- not lively or spirited; listless.
- not bright, intense, or clear; dim: a dull day; a dull sound.
- having very little depth of color; lacking in richness or intensity of color.
- slow in motion or action; not brisk; sluggish: a dull day in the stock market.
- mentally slow; lacking brightness of mind; somewhat stupid; obtuse.
- lacking keenness of perception in the senses or feelings; insensible; unfeeling.
- not intense or acute: a dull pain.
- to make or become dull.
Origin of dull
SynonymsSee more synonyms for dull on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for dull
But the man appears so weary that I decide to skip the dull stuff and get to the heat.Alfred Hitchcock’s Fade to Black: The Great Director’s Final Days
December 13, 2014
The work at Art Basel is often interesting, often dull, and disproportionately decorative in nature.Sneer and Clothing in Miami: Inside The $3 Billion Woodstock of Contemporary Art
December 6, 2014
I was quoted in The New York Times saying, ‘We dared to be dull’.Can Obama and a Republican Senate Find Common Ground?
November 4, 2014
According to Mack, he nearly killed her, broke 18 of her bones and, “sawed much of my hair off with [a] dull knife.”The MMA Fighters Have Gone Crazy: ‘Mayhem’ Miller the Latest in a Long Line of Psycho Pugilists
October 10, 2014
The Playlist, on the other hand, called it “too oblique, too delighted with itself, and frankly, too dull to admire…much.”Josh Charles on Life After ‘The Good Wife’ and His Insane Movie ‘Bird People’
September 13, 2014
As they approached it, the dull hue that lay upon it resembled that of the leaden sky.Malbone
Thomas Wentworth Higginson
"Yes," said Dick, staring in front of him and speaking in a dull, even voice.Viviette
William J. Locke
Andrew, looking from the dull glimmer of his fire to that dead waste, sighed.Way of the Lawless
It is a curious question why sacred song should so often be dull and commonplace.Weighed and Wanting
The sarcasm was without effect on the dull sensibilities of the officer.Within the Law
- slow to think or understand; stupid
- lacking in interest
- lacking in perception or the ability to respond; insensitive
- lacking sharpness; blunt
- not acute, intense, or piercing
- (of weather) not bright or clear; cloudy
- not active, busy, or brisk
- lacking in spirit or animation; listless
- (of colour) lacking brilliance or brightness; sombre
- not loud or clear; muffled
- med (of sound elicited by percussion, esp of the chest) not resonant
- to make or become dull
Word Origin and History for dull
c.1200, "stupid;" early 13c., "blunt, not sharp;" rare before mid-14c., apparently from Old English dol "dull-witted, foolish," or an unrecorded parallel word, or from Middle Low German dul "slow-witted," both from Proto-Germanic *dulaz (cf. Old Frisian and Old Saxon dol "foolish," Old High German tol, German toll "mad, wild," Gothic dwals "foolish"), from PIE *dheu- (1) "dust, vapor, smoke" (and related notions of "defective perception or wits"). Of color from early 15c.; of pain or other sensations from 1725. Sense of "boring" first recorded 1580s.
dull. (8) Not exhilarating; not delightful; as to make dictionaries is dull work. [Johnson]
Dullsville, slang for "town where nothing happens," attested from 1960.
c.1200, "to grow weary, tire;" of pointed or edged things from c.1400; of the senses from 1550s; from dull (adj.). Related: Dulled; dulling.
- Lacking responsiveness or alertness; insensitive.
- Not intensely or keenly felt, as in pain.
Idioms and Phrases with dull
In addition to the idiom beginning with dull
- dull as dishwater
- never a dull moment