: smooth and soothing in manner or quality
bland approval
a bland smile
: exhibiting no personal concern or embarrassment : unperturbed
a bland confession of guilt
: not irritating, stimulating, or invigorating : soothing
a bland oil
the bland climate of the southern coast
: dull, insipid
bland stories with little plot or action
a bland rendition of the song
: lacking strong flavor
Expect both kinds of salsify to be subtle and delicate—too bland for some tastebuds.Elizabeth Schneider
blandly adverb
blandness noun
Choose the Right Synonym for bland

suave, urbane, diplomatic, bland, smooth, politic mean pleasantly tactful and well-mannered.

suave suggests a specific ability to deal with others easily and without friction.

a suave public relations coordinator

urbane implies high cultivation and poise coming from wide social experience.

an urbane traveler

diplomatic stresses an ability to deal with ticklish situations tactfully.

a diplomatic negotiator

bland emphasizes mildness of manner and absence of irritating qualities.

a bland master of ceremonies

smooth suggests often a deliberately assumed suavity.

a smooth salesman

politic implies shrewd as well as tactful and suave handling of people.

a cunningly politic manager

Examples of bland in a Sentence

The vegetable soup was rather bland. The diplomat's bland statement did nothing to calm the situation.
Recent Examples on the Web Prison officials, in their bland pronouncements of his death, gave no explanation of the cause. Simon Shuster / Vilnius, TIME, 17 Apr. 2024 Lempicka was bisexual, notoriously so, and the musical uses this as the crux of her story, as defined by the two great loves of her life: her boring, bland, and basic AF husband Tadeusz Lempicki (Andrew Samonsky) and the dynamic, intriguing Parisian prostitute Rafaela (Iman). Lester Fabian Brathwaite, EW.com, 16 Apr. 2024 Sugar’s obsession stands in stark contrast with the dull, bland mystery presented to the audience. Alison Herman, Variety, 5 Apr. 2024 Sadly, that car had a rather bland white-over-green livery—a color scheme that does not suit my penchant for flash. Brett Berk, Robb Report, 5 Apr. 2024 Some inevitable combination of bureaucracy, human fallibility, and mathematical law keeps things bland: each time, the curators settle on sixty or a hundred or, this year, seventy-one artists whose creations have some relevance to the state of society, as well as to the state of art. Jackson Arn, The New Yorker, 22 Mar. 2024 It’s infused with a blend of Italian peppers, which impart a light heat that won’t char your palate—but will certainly wake up any otherwise bland dishes on the menu. Sara Coughlin, SELF, 13 Mar. 2024 Despite its name, Vanillaware is anything but bland. Gieson Cacho, The Mercury News, 8 Mar. 2024 The two trade bland hello's while Chelsea feels ill watching them together. Sydney Bucksbaum, EW.com, 28 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'bland.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from Latin blandus "influencing others by flattery, ingratiating, insidious, calm, gentle, agreeable to the senses, pleasant," of uncertain origin

First Known Use

1565, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of bland was in 1565

Dictionary Entries Near bland

Cite this Entry

“Bland.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bland. Accessed 24 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


: smooth and soothing in manner : gentle
a bland smile
: having soft and soothing qualities : not irritating
bland diet
: not interesting : dull
a bland story
blandly adverb
blandness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on bland

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