bleak

adjective
\ ˈblēk How to pronounce bleak (audio) \

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

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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

If Rosa Parks showed the potential of defiance, [some historians] say, Emmett Till’s death warned of a bleak future without it. Gabby Raymond, Time, "The Justice Department Has Reopened Its Investigation of Emmett Till's Murder. Here Are 5 Things to Know About the Case," 12 July 2018 In the 171-page sentencing memorandum filed this week, Oaks’ lawyers portrayed their client as a lifelong public servant with a bleak future. Nicholas Bogel-burroughs, baltimoresun.com, "Convicted of corruption, former Maryland Sen. Nathaniel Oaks asks for 18-month prison sentence," 10 July 2018 The striking film stars Chloë Sevigny as Borden, a young woman stuck in a stifling home with a monstrous family and a bleak future. Adam Rathe, Town & Country, "The Original Preppy Murder: Chloë Sevigny Takes the Lead in Her New Film About Lizzie Borden," 27 June 2018 The tournament will distract, at least temporarily, ordinary Russians, who have suffered economically in recent years and face a bleak future. New York Times, "A Chance for Putin to Woo the World, Thanks to Soccer and Trump," 13 June 2018 Fritz sees a bleak future for the big studios, but is surprisingly upbeat about what’s in store for the rest of us. Stephen Metcalf, The New Yorker, "How Superheroes Made Movie Stars Expendable," 19 May 2018 Facing that bleak business future, electric vehicles (EVs) present an exciting solution for utilities—shifting fuel demand from gasoline providers to local power lines. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Utilities, Tesla appeal federal rollback of auto emissions standards," 18 May 2018 Gaze upon this chilling image of our bleak technological future — and his new robot dog! Nestor Ramos, BostonGlobe.com, "Boston Dynamics will sell its terrifying robot dogs. What could go wrong?," 15 May 2018 The Enquirer/Cameron Knight A bleak future with massive cuts to services would await Hamilton County without a sales tax increase next year, the Hamilton County administration told the county commissioners Monday morning. Scott Wartman, Cincinnati.com, "A bleak future awaits Hamilton County without sales tax hike, administration warns," 30 Apr. 2018

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.

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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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Statistics for bleak

Last Updated

23 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bleak

The first known use of bleak was in 1574

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More Definitions for bleak

bleak

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of bleak

: not warm, friendly, cheerful, etc.
: not hopeful or encouraging

bleak

adjective
\ 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
bleakness noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on bleak

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bleak

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bleak

Spanish Central: Translation of bleak

Nglish: Translation of bleak for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bleak for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about bleak

Comments on bleak

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