adjective \ ˈbland \
Updated on: 14 Feb 2018

Definition of bland

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


play \ˈblan(d)-lē\ adverb


play \ˈblan(d)-nəs\ noun

Examples of bland in a Sentence

  1. The vegetable soup was rather bland.

  2. The diplomat's bland statement did nothing to calm the situation.

Recent Examples of bland from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bland.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of bland

Latin blandus

Synonym Discussion of 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

BLAND Defined for English Language Learners



Definition of bland for English Language Learners

  • : not interesting or exciting

  • : lacking strong flavor

  • : showing no emotion, concern, etc.

BLAND Defined for Kids


adjective \ ˈbland \

Definition of bland for Students

blander; blandest
1 : not interesting or exiciting
  • a bland story
2 : not having much flavor
  • a bland soup
3 : not showing emotion
  • a bland face

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an inn where caravans rest at night

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