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

The world itself is bleak, despite the beautiful island setting. refinery29.com, "A Round Of Applause For Anne Hathaway & Matthew McConaughey’s New Thriller," 7 June 2018 Natalia Reyes Photo: The Orchard Drug-war movies—a sub-genre that has long been a box-office mainstay—tend to be predictable, and bleak; no victors are declared, no punishments change the course of events. WSJ, "‘Birds of Passage’ Review: Splendor and the Grass," 14 Feb. 2019 These themes highlight the trends that led the world of gadgets this year, as nostalgia continues to influence products while simultaneously being a reflection of our bleak times. Dami Lee, The Verge, "The Verge 2018 tech report card: Gadgets," 30 Dec. 2018 While this sounds bleak, there's reason to celebrate: After Friday, the days will start to get longer and the nights will become shorter. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "Winter Solstice 2018: Who Celebrates the First Day of Winter?," 20 Dec. 2018 Experts say immigrants will face an even bleaker future if Republicans continue to control both chambers of Congress. Jenny Hollander, Marie Claire, "Do I Have to Vote? Here Are Some of the Scary Things That Could Happen If You Don't," 6 Nov. 2018 Her account of its working can at times feel bleak. Gabriel Winant, The New Republic, "Barbara Ehrenreich’s radical critique of wellness and self-improvement," 23 May 2018 When boiled down to the essentials, its storyline flirts with a bleak reality: Margaret befriends Ruth Wilcox, who dies suddenly from illness, while Helen grows close to Leonard, adopting him as pet project of sorts. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "How Hayley Atwell Found Herself in One of Literature’s Greatest Heroines," 30 Apr. 2018 Location With shabby residential buildings nearby, Boxotel’s block can feel bleak. New York Times, "At the Boxotel in Montreal, Life Is Lofty," 3 Feb. 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

9 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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