Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

dreary

play
adjective drea·ry \ˈdrir-ē\

Simple Definition of dreary

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

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of dreary

drearier

dreariest

  1. 1 :  feeling, displaying, or reflecting listlessness or discouragement

  2. 2 :  having nothing likely to provide cheer, comfort, or interest :  gloomy, dismal

drearily

play \ˈdrir-ə-lē\ adverb

dreariness

play \ˈdrir-ē-nəs\ noun

Examples of dreary in a sentence

  1. It was a gray, dreary morning.

  2. The family struggled through dreary economic times.



Origin and Etymology of dreary

Middle English drery, from Old English drēorig sad, bloody, from drēor gore; akin to Old High German trūrēn to be sad, Gothic driusan to fall


First Known Use: before 12th century

Synonym Discussion of dreary

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>.

DREARY Defined for Kids

dreary

play
adjective drea·ry \ˈdrir-ē\

Definition of dreary for Students

drearier

dreariest

  1. :  dull and depressing <a dreary, rainy Monday>

drearily

\ˈdrir-ə-lē\ adverb

dreariness

\ˈdrir-ē-nəs\ noun




Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up dreary? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a simplified speech bridging languages

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

confounded-person

Which is a synonym of indolent?

philistine lazy frenetic melancholy
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ