• synonyms


See more synonyms for humdrum on Thesaurus.com
  1. lacking variety; boring; dull: a humdrum existence.
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  1. humdrum character or routine; monotony.
  2. monotonous or tedious talk.
  3. Archaic. a dull, boring person.
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Origin of humdrum

1545–55; earlier humtrum, rhyming compound based on hum
Related formshum·drum·ness, noun


See more synonyms for humdrum on Thesaurus.com
1. tedious, routine, mundane, tiresome.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for hum-drum

Historical Examples

  • Why didn't you say, 'You make life too hum-drum, too commonplace for him.

    A Widow's Tale and Other Stories

    Mrs. (Margaret) Oliphant

  • The town so hum-drum to-day has a stirring history to look back on.

    Heroic Spain

    Elizabeth Boyle O'Reilly

  • I had no society there, and of course, got tired of my hum-drum life.


    J. G. Holland

  • My weariness of this hum-drum, work-a-day life has grown so heavy it is like to crush me.

  • Hum-Drum and Kopy-Keck applied themselves to their physics and metaphysics; but in vain.

British Dictionary definitions for hum-drum


  1. ordinary; dull
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  1. a monotonous routine, task, or person
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Derived Formshumdrumness, noun

Word Origin

C16: rhyming compound, probably based on hum
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 hum-drum


also humdrum, "routine, monotonous," 1550s, probably a reduplication of hum.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper