dull

Definitions

  • Life is very dull, my dear Rox
    Life is very dull, my dear Rox
  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj dull (of business) not active or brisk "business is dull (or slow)","a sluggish market"
    • adj dull emitting or reflecting very little light "a dull glow","dull silver badly in need of a polish","a dull sky"
    • adj dull (of color) very low in saturation; highly diluted "dull greens and blues"
    • adj dull slow to learn or understand; lacking intellectual acuity "so dense he never understands anything I say to him","never met anyone quite so dim","although dull at classical learning, at mathematics he was uncommonly quick"- Thackeray","dumb officials make some really dumb decisions","he was either normally stupid or being deliberately obtuse","worked with the slow students"
    • adj dull darkened with overcast "a dark day","a dull sky","the sky was leaden and thick"
    • adj dull not having a sharp edge or point "the knife was too dull to be of any use"
    • adj dull not keenly felt "a dull throbbing","dull pain"
    • adj dull lacking in liveliness or animation "he was so dull at parties","a dull political campaign","a large dull impassive man","dull days with nothing to do","how dull and dreary the world is","fell back into one of her dull moods"
    • adj dull so lacking in interest as to cause mental weariness "a boring evening with uninteresting people","the deadening effect of some routine tasks","a dull play","his competent but dull performance","a ho-hum speaker who couldn't capture their attention","what an irksome task the writing of long letters is"- Edmund Burke","tedious days on the train","the tiresome chirping of a cricket"- Mark Twain","other people's dreams are dreadfully wearisome"
    • adj dull being or made softer or less loud or clear "the dull boom of distant breaking waves","muffled drums","the muffled noises of the street","muted trumpets"
    • adj dull not clear and resonant; sounding as if striking with or against something relatively soft "the dull thud","thudding bullets"
    • adj dull blunted in responsiveness or sensibility "a dull gaze","so exhausted she was dull to what went on about her"- Willa Cather"
    • v dull make less lively or vigorous "Middle age dulled her appetite for travel"
    • v dull become dull or lusterless in appearance; lose shine or brightness "the varnished table top dulled with time"
    • v dull become less interesting or attractive
    • v dull make dull in appearance "Age had dulled the surface"
    • v dull make dull or blunt "Too much cutting dulls the knife's edge"
    • v dull make numb or insensitive "The shock numbed her senses"
    • v dull deaden (a sound or noise), especially by wrapping
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Dull Furnishing little delight, spirit, or variety; uninteresting; tedious; cheerless; gloomy; melancholy; depressing; as, a dull story or sermon; a dull occupation or period; hence, cloudy; overcast; as, a dull day. "Along life's dullest , dreariest walk."
    • Dull Heavy; gross; cloggy; insensible; spiritless; lifeless; inert. "The dull earth.""As turning the logs will make a dull fire burn, so changes of study a dull brain."
    • Dull Insensible; unfeeling. "Think me not
      So dull a devil to forget the loss
      Of such a matchless wife."
    • Dull Not bright or clear to the eye; wanting in liveliness of color or luster; not vivid; obscure; dim; as, a dull fire or lamp; a dull red or yellow; a dull mirror.
    • Dull Not keen in edge or point; lacking sharpness; blunt. "Thy scythe is dull ."
    • Dull Slow in action; sluggish; unready; awkward. "This people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing.""O, help my weak wit and sharpen my dull tongue."
    • Dull Slow of understanding; wanting readiness of apprehension; stupid; doltish; blockish. "Dull at classical learning.""She is not bred so dull but she can learn."
    • v. i Dull To become dull or stupid.
    • Dull To deprive of liveliness or activity; to render heavy; to make inert; to depress; to weary; to sadden. "Attention of mind . . . wasted or dulled through continuance."
    • Dull To deprive of sharpness of edge or point. "This . . . dulled their swords.""Borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry."
    • Dull To make dull, stupid, or sluggish; to stupefy, as the senses, the feelings, the perceptions, and the like. "Those [drugs] she has
      Will stupefy and dull the sense a while."
      "Use and custom have so dulled our eyes."
    • Dull To render dim or obscure; to sully; to tarnish. "Dulls the mirror."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • dull Stupid; foolish; doltish; blockish; slow of understanding: as, a lad of dull intellect.
    • dull Heavy; sluggish; drowsy; inanimate; slow in thought, expression, or action: as, a surfeit leaves one dull; a dull thinker; a dull sermon; a dull stream; trade is dull.
    • dull Wanting sensibility or keenness; not quick in perception: as, dull of hearing; dull of seeing.
    • dull Sad; melancholy; depressed; dismal.
    • dull Not pleasing or enlivening; not exhilarating; causing dullness or ennui; depressing; cheerless: as, dull weather; a dull prospect.
    • dull Gross; inanimate; insensible.
    • dull Not bright or clear; not vivid; dim; obscure: as, a dull fire or light; a dull red color; the mirror gives a dull reflection.
    • dull Not sharp or acute; obtuse; blunt: as, a dull sword; a dull needle.
    • dull Not keenly felt; not intense: as, a dull pain. Synonyms Silly, etc. See simple.
    • dull To make dull, stupid, heavy, insensible, etc.; lessen the vigor, activity, or sensitiveness of; render inanimate; damp: as, to dull the wits; to dull the senses.
    • dull To render dim; sully; tarnish or cloud: as, the breath dulls a mirror.
    • dull To make less sharp or acute; render blunt or obtuse: as, to dull a knife or a needle.
    • dull To make less keenly felt; moderate the intensity of: as, to dull pain.
    • dull To become dull or blunt; become stupid.
    • dull To become calm; moderate: as, the wind dulled, or dulled down, about twelve o'clock.
    • dull To become deadened in color; lose brightness.
    • n dull A noose of string or wire used to snare fish; usually, a noose of bright copper wire attached by a short string to a stout pole.
    • dull To fish with a dull: as, to dull for trout.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Dull dul slow of hearing, of learning, or of understanding: insensible: without life or spirit: slow of motion: drowsy: sleepy: sad: downcast: cheerless: not bright or clear: cloudy: dim, obscure: obtuse: blunt
    • v.t Dull to make dull or stupid: to blunt: to damp: to cloud
    • v.i Dull to become dull
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Quotations

  • H. L. Mencken
    H.%20L.%20Mencken
    “It is the dull man who is always sure, and the sure man who is always dull.”
  • Charles Churchill
    Charles Churchill
    “Prudent dullness marked him for a mayor.”
  • William Shakespeare
    William%20Shakespeare
    “Then to Silvia let us sing that Silvia is excelling. She excels each mortal thing upon the dull earth dwelling.”
  • William Shakespeare
    William%20Shakespeare
    “The dullness of the fool is the whetstone of the wits.”
  • Samuel Johnson
    Samuel%20Johnson
    “He was dull in a new way, and that made many think him great.”
  • Joseph Conrad
    Joseph%20Conrad
    “It is respectable to have no illusions, and safe, and profitable and dull.”

Idioms

Dull as ditchwater - (UK) If something is as dull as ditchwater, it is incredibly boring. A ditch is a long narrow hole or trench dug to contain water, which is normally a dark, dirty colour and stagnant (when water turns a funny colour and starts to smell bad). (In American English,'things are 'dull as dishwater'.)
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
AS. dol, foolish; akin to gedwelan, to err, D. dol, mad, dwalen, to wander, err, G. toll, mad, Goth. dwals, foolish, stupid, cf. Gr. turbid, troubled, Skr. dhvr, to cause to fall. Cf. Dolt Dwale Dwell Fraud

Usage

In literature:

Her wonderful hair was swept up in a new fashion from her forehead, a dull gold comb against its native gold.
"Mistress Anne" by Temple Bailey
If the cask contains fluid, the sound is of a dull and of quite a different character.
"Special Report on Diseases of the Horse" by United States Department of Agriculture
His steady eyes were dull and lustreless.
"The Heart of Unaga" by Ridgwell Cullum
These are dull green, speckled with brown.
"Birds of the Indian Hills" by Douglas Dewar
The victim went to execution wide-awake, with no mercy of deadened senses and dulled brain.
"The History of Sir Richard Calmady" by Lucas Malet
Mine are getting old and dull.
""Unto Caesar"" by Baroness Emmuska Orczy
He was neither dull enough nor great enough for a striking Oxford success.
"Robert Elsmere" by Mrs. Humphry Ward
He was anxious to sleep, but drowsy dullness kept away.
"The House with the Green Shutters" by George Douglas Brown
It can never be dull.
"Tongues of Conscience" by Robert Smythe Hichens
It would be very dull, of course, she said; but any place would be dull now that she, Caroline, was gone.
"The Bertrams" by Anthony Trollope
There was a dull irritation in the tone.
"A Son of Hagar" by Sir Hall Caine
He was rather a dull boy, and he repeated mechanically what he had been told.
"Casa Braccio, Volumes 1 and 2 (of 2)" by F. Marion Crawford
The =gills= are first white, free from the stem, and in age assume a dull pink tinge.
"Studies of American Fungi. Mushrooms, Edible, Poisonous, etc." by George Francis Atkinson
A headachy scent of moth-balls was in the dull air.
"The Trail of the Hawk" by Sinclair Lewis
Anything is better than dying of dullness here.
"Killykinick" by Mary T. Waggaman
It was a dull morning when we left Vila on board the French Government yacht.
"Two Years with the Natives in the Western Pacific" by Felix Speiser
Her dull eyes seemed to see nothing, to care for nothing.
"Master of the Vineyard" by Myrtle Reed
Then came shrieks, and the dull sound of the sjambok cutting soft human flesh.
"The Dop Doctor" by Clotilde Inez Mary Graves
She wore a little white silk frock with flat bows of dull blue upon it.
"Tante" by Anne Douglas Sedgwick
Pretty dull pupil, I think.
"Carmen Ariza" by Charles Francis Stocking
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In poetry:

Heavy looms the dull sky,
Heavy rolls the sea;
And heavy throbs the young heart
Beneath that lonely tree.
"The Two Children Pt 1" by Emily Jane Bronte
Ah,the soft sound of rain
on roofs, on the ground!
To a dulled heart they came,
ah, the song of the rain!
"Tears Fall In My Heart" by Paul Verlaine
To all of this we make reply
By the dull slate of yonder sky:
That we will well and truly try.
We'll try.
"Trial" by William Schwenck Gilbert
TIS a dull sight
To see the year dying,
When winter winds
Set the yellow wood sighing:
Sighing, O sighing!
"Old Song" by Edward FitzGerald
Dull to the worldly duty,
Less to the town he grew,
And more to the God of Beauty
Than even the grocer knew!
"The Poet's Town" by John Gneisenau Neihardt
'Tis a dull sight
To see the year dying,
When winter winds
Set the yellow wood sighing:
Sighing, oh! sighing.
"The Meadows In Spring" by Edward FitzGerald

In news:

A 42-year-old man from the Middle East presented with 3 months of dull, progressive back pain.
The Washington, DC, area has grown out to Dulles International Airport, which was remote when it was built in 1962.
Its image is dull, its personality flat and its meat too tough to serve raw on the half-shell.
Live has no business being so dull.
There is never a dull moment in the Sag Harbor School District — and on Monday evening, the phrase was infused with new meaning at the board of education meeting.
The New York Philharmonic is as reliable and consistent as a metronome—and about as dull.
There isn't a dull movement in Tere O'Connor's current program at New York Live Arts.
The Legacy of Avery Dulles.
Cardinal Avery Dulles (1918–2008) was probably the most respected Catholic theologian in the United States in the last quarter of the twentieth century.
Morsi's cabinet strikes a dull thud .
Drama-free studio session makes for a dull behind-the-scenes look.
Who Was That Man In the Dull Trousers .
We will never forget how Yale lost The Game for the fifth consecutive time our senior year, but for the Class of 2006, a little winter sports success might do something to dull the pain.
Grief, loss and mourning remain part of our national consciousness, like a dull ache that sometimes becomes acute.
Chef Vicky Zeph outclasses a dull room with sophisticated, inventive food.
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In science:

Dynamical evolutionary models, based on FokkerPlanck codes, have been constructed for a number of individual clusters by members of Cohn’s group (Grabhorn et al 1992, Dull et al 1997, Drukier 1995).
A Simple Dynamical Model for Omega Cen
Applying the in-plane field dulls the central dip and decreases overall conductance.
Rippled Graphene in an In-Plane Magnetic Field: Effects of a Random Vector Potential
It does not matter how clever or subtle your consistent method is at “mining” empirical samples—in fact more sensitive and informative data-mining techniques will “leap” for the successive theories in the empirical approximation chain more quickly than dull, insensitive ones.
Causal Conclusions that Flip Repeatedly and Their Justification
However, a one-dimensional incompressible velocity field would be quite dull, so we are forced to choose some other form of mixing that retains certain traits of an incompressible flow.
A Simple Passive Scalar Advection-Diffusion Model
The present status can be characterized as follows: All six quark as well as lepton flavours have unambiguously been discovered now. A quite full SM profile is known about charm, the first predicted flavour,and it happens to be a bit on the dull side – a point I will return to later.
Heavy Flavour Physics: On Its More Than 50 Years Of History, Its Future And The Rio Manifesto
With charm being the second member of a quark family its Standard Model weak phenomenology becomes quite predictable and a bit on the dull side as explained in more detail later.
Heavy Flavour Physics: On Its More Than 50 Years Of History, Its Future And The Rio Manifesto
Fiore et al. 2001; see also Maiolino, this volume), at one extreme, or dull galaxies (e.g.
The X-ray view of highly obscured AGN
RIA’s bring a lot Expressiveness to the user. His experience with an online application does not need to be dull. He wants to see smooth menu animations, drop shadows, vector graphics, and maps manipulation. Rich media content like audio and video and real time data pooling and messaging are common now inside RIA’s.
Adobe AIR, Bringing Rich Internet Applications to the Desktop
The logical status of risk-to burnish or to dull.
Informal Control code logic
The logical status of risk-to burnish or to dull.
Informal Control code logic
But what about artificial agents? If we use a society of dull agents, the abilities which may be required to perform well might be very different to those which are required if we introduce an agent into, e.g., a society of humans.
On the influence of intelligence in (social) intelligence testing environments
In other words, the population of many agents, even dull agents, makes thing more difficult.
On the influence of intelligence in (social) intelligence testing environments
Instead of the perhaps rather dull task of selecting a cut-off in a list of ordered hypotheses, the researcher can reject for follow-up analysis any set of hypotheses he or she regards as interesting, using all the information at hand.
Discussion of "Multiple Testing for Exploratory Research" by J. J. Goeman and A. Solari
However, as we have seen, the Dark Matter chapter is rather dull, and since the School was mainly devoted to Dark Matter, it is not surprising that we will go beyond un poquito.
Valencia 93: The Summary of Particle Theory
For example, in a flight arrival/departure application, the user might say “I said Dallas, not Dulles” to correct a misrecognition by the speech recognizer.
Towards a PURE Spoken Dialogue System for Information Access
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