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

For low-income and minority kids, the picture is especially bleak: Their average test scores are far below those of their more affluent, largely white peers—a phenomenon usually referred to as the achievement gap. Natalie Wexler, The Atlantic, "Elementary Education Has Gone Terribly Wrong," 9 July 2019 Jughead's expensive wardrobe Jughead's economic situation has always been pretty bleak. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "9 "Riverdale" Plot Holes That Will Keep You Up at Night," 3 May 2019 In You's Season 1 finale, Beck's prospects are pretty bleak. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Is Beck Really Dead on You—Or Could Joe's Ex Be Back for Season 2?," 27 Jan. 2019 Despite his all-world production, his Cleveland Cavaliers trail Golden State 3-0, and the prospect of even winning a game in the series is as bleak as a northeast Ohio winter. Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY, "Down 3-0 in NBA Finals, LeBron James reveals plenty in candid session with media," 7 June 2018 At Sturm Ruger, another major gunmaker, the picture was equally bleak. Krista Stevens, Longreads, "How the NRA Uses Fear to Sell Guns in America," 19 Apr. 2018 Two fossil teeth found in northwestern Canada confirm that hyenas once lived in the bleak and frigid conditions of the Arctic, possibly hunting and scavenging caribou and mammoth across the steppe-tundra about a million years ago. John Pickrell, National Geographic, "Hyenas once stalked the Arctic, fossils reveal," 18 June 2019 Things aren’t entirely bleak for Felicity Huffman, who is facing prison time after pleading guilty last month to paying $15,000 in bribes to have her oldest daughter’s SAT score boosted as part of the nationwide college admissions scandal. Martha Ross, The Mercury News, "Daughter’s high school graduation gives Felicity Huffman something to celebrate," 11 June 2019 To follow orders even when the outcome was bleak and uncertain. Christina Ruffini, CBS News, "The last of the best: A reporter reflects on the D-Day anniversary," 7 June 2019

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

13 Jul 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

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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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