\ ˈblēk How to pronounce bleak (audio) \
bleaker; bleakest

Definition of bleak

1 : exposed and barren and often windswept a bleak landscape bleak soils
2 : cold, raw a bleak November evening
3a : lacking in warmth, life, or kindliness : grim a bleak prison documentary
b : not hopeful or encouraging : depressing a bleak prognosis a bleak outlook the future looks bleak
c : severely simple or austere a bleak hotel room

Other Words from bleak

bleakly adverb
bleakness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for bleak

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

Examples of bleak in a Sentence

a bleak outlook for the team for the rest of the season it was a dark and bleak wintry day
Recent Examples on the Web But, boy, things sure looked bleak for the Jayhawks as the first half wound down. Eddie Pells, ajc, 5 Apr. 2022 Things looked similarly bleak for working female DPs during that period. Karen Idelson, Variety, 8 Mar. 2022 Since covid-19 wreaked havoc, the future of theaters has looked bleak. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz, 20 Dec. 2021 Although things looked bleak for a time, Okemos was able to fight back and earn the victory. Brad Emons, Detroit Free Press, 7 Nov. 2021 When the long snapper headed out with the punt team late in the third quarter, their comeback chances looked bleak. Jonas Shaffer,, 22 Sep. 2021 For months the two stayed in contact, with Rodriguez offering support and a shoulder to cry on when times looked bleak. Mary Green,, 18 Aug. 2021 In a note last week, Macquarie analysts predicted a bleak future for the company. Diksha Madhok, CNN, 22 Mar. 2022 Even once an agreement is reached between the two countries, Russia is facing a bleak future, militarily and economically, according to Volker. Audrey Conklin, Fox News, 19 Mar. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of bleak

1574, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for bleak

Middle English bleke pale; probably akin to Old English blāc

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Dictionary Entries Near bleak

bleach-out process



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Last Updated

10 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Bleak.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for bleak


\ ˈblēk How to pronounce bleak (audio) \
bleaker; bleakest

Kids Definition of bleak

1 : open to wind or weather a bleak coast
2 : being cold and raw or cheerless a bleak wind a bleak landscape
3 : not hopeful or encouraging The future looks bleak.

Other Words from bleak

bleakly adverb stared bleakly

More from Merriam-Webster on bleak

Nglish: Translation of bleak for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bleak for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about bleak


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