- 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 dulling
The frequent viewing, though, introduces a problem that rubbernecking never had—the dulling and inuring effects of repetition.Kevin Ware’s Broken Leg Will Live On in the Annals of Grisly Injuries
April 1, 2013
I should merely be dulling your appetite, without satisfying your hunger.Daisy Ashford: Her Book
There is a pathetic reference in a letter to this dulling of his power of vision.Schopenhauer
A look of fright and joy came into Mrs. Vincent's dulling eyes.Margaret Vincent
Sophia Lucy Clifford
And with it a damping of her ardor, and a dulling of the fine edge of her enthusiasm.Carmen Ariza
Charles Francis Stocking
There came a louder clamor—volcanic, chaotic, dulling the thunders.The Metal Monster
- 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 dulling
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 dulling
In addition to the idiom beginning with dull
- dull as dishwater
- never a dull moment