adjective, dull·er, dull·est.
verb (used with or without object)
Origin of dull
Synonyms for dull
Antonyms for dull
Examples from the Web for dullness
Contemporary Examples of dullness
For the past forty years critic James Wolcott has been a cerebral antidote to the dullness contaminating our cultural pages.The Obligation to be Interesting: James Wolcott’s “Critical Mass”
October 24, 2013
Once you're out of breath, you might be within earshot of what that phrase conjures up in the United Kingdom: dullness.Unconsidered Trifles: Found Comedy in the Age of Social Media
March 30, 2013
Still, TV-show creators can appreciate the dullness in overthinking sex when the moment strikes—particularly after a certain age.Television’s 20-Something Female Virgins: ‘Girls,’ ‘Grey’s,’ and ‘Underemployed’
November 27, 2012
Luckily for him, this is Washington, where dullness can be prized if it is effective.Is Our Top Cop Keeping Us Safer?
September 12, 2011
His address showed that he has the gift of humility, and his dullness was, in fact, proof of that new humility.A Triumphantly Unmemorable Address
January 25, 2011
Historical Examples of dullness
For all her dullness, it was a signal from Sally that saved Andrew.Way of the Lawless
Yet, now, in the dullness ran a faint suggestion of something sinister.Within the Law
I know all about the "dullness" and "monotony" of rural life, bad housing and the rest of it.Another Sheaf
His attempts at general conversation broke down into dullness.A Set of Six
Recent Paris and Calcutta retrospect chides his dullness of perception.Oswald Langdon
Carson Jay Lee
Word Origin 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.
In addition to the idiom beginning with dull
- dull as dishwater
- never a dull moment