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dismal

play
adjective dis·mal \ˈdiz-məl\

Simple Definition of dismal

  • : showing or causing unhappiness or sad feelings : not warm, cheerful, etc.

  • : very bad or poor

Full Definition of dismal

  1. 1 obsolete :  disastrous, dreadful

  2. 2 :  showing or causing gloom or depression

  3. 3 :  lacking merit :  particularly bad <a dismal performance>

dis·mal·ly play \-mə-lē\ adverb
dis·mal·ness noun

Examples of dismal

  1. The show was a dismal failure.

  2. The team's record is dismal.



Origin of dismal

Middle English, from dismal, noun, days marked as unlucky in medieval calendars, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin dies mali, literally, evil days


First Known Use: 15th century

Synonym Discussion of dismal

dismal, dreary, bleak, gloomy, cheerless, desolate mean devoid of cheer or comfort. dismal indicates extreme and utterly depressing gloominess <dismal weather>. dreary, often interchangeable with dismal, emphasizes discouragement resulting from sustained dullness or futility <a dreary job>. bleak suggests chill, dull, and barren characteristics that utterly dishearten <the bleak years of the depression>. gloomy often suggests lack of hope or promise <gloomy war news>. cheerless stresses absence of anything cheering <a drab and cheerless office>. desolate adds an element of utter remoteness or lack of human contact to any already disheartening aspect <a desolate outpost>.


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