Examples of dismal in a sentence
The show was a dismal failure.
The team's record is dismal.
Did You Know?
In late antiquity, certain days each month, called “Egyptian days,” were regarded as inauspicious, probably as a relic of ancient Egyptian belief. By the Middle Ages, people took them to be anniversaries of the Biblical plagues in Egypt. There were 24 such days per year, and in Anglo-French they were called collectively dismal (from Latin dies mali, “evil days”), and this word was borrowed into Middle English. In time the “evil days” sense was forgotten and dismal was simply taken to mean “disastrous.” The noun dismal, meaning “swamp,” goes back to the 1700s when the marshy region in Virginia and North Carolina was named the Great Dismal Swamp.
Origin and Etymology of dismal
Middle English, from dismal, noun, days marked as unlucky in medieval calendars, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin dies mali, literally, evil days
First Known Use: 15th century
Synonym Discussion of dismal
DISMAL Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of dismal for English Language Learners
: showing or causing unhappiness or sad feelings : not warm, cheerful, etc.
: very bad or poor
DISMAL Defined for Kids
Definition of dismal for Students
: very gloomy <dismal weather>
Seen and Heard
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