: stern, harsh
a dour expression on her face
: obstinate, unyielding
an insistent hunger for learning and a dour … determination to achieve itWalter Moberly
: gloomy, sullen
a dour disposition
dourly adverb
dourness noun

Examples of dour in a Sentence

She had a dour expression on her face. the dour mood of the crowd
Recent Examples on the Web Investors similarly took a more dour view of the quarterly call, as shares of Disney were down almost 10% to $104.83 midday on Tuesday. Samantha Masunaga, Los Angeles Times, 7 May 2024 Whatever the case, the wait for slower inflation has left the average consumer in an increasingly dour mood. Rob Wile, NBC News, 1 May 2024 The film privileges candid interviews where these women speak for and about themselves, refusing the call toward respectability politics as well as the dour lens through which their stories are often told. Hilary Lewis, The Hollywood Reporter, 3 Sep. 2019 But there may be more than vibes behind Americans' dour views, such as financial pressures that aren't necessarily captured by data like the consumer price index, which measures the pace of inflation. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, 9 Apr. 2024 Once again, leaks from the parties are contradictory and hard to interpret, with hopeful signals quickly scrambled by dour assessments. Claire Parker, Washington Post, 9 Apr. 2024 At the time, Trump Media had a dour financial position. William Gavin, Quartz, 13 Mar. 2024 Scotland’s weather may be wet, windy and grey and Murray may have been this dour to some, but his personality was a streetfighter in a tough suburb of Glasgow. Tim Ellis, Forbes, 28 Mar. 2024 Eighteen people are running, and at times, their images seem to blend together: a sea of older men in dark, dour suits. Ayen Deng Bior, The Christian Science Monitor, 22 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'dour.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English, from Latin durus hard — more at during

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of dour was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near dour

Cite this Entry

“Dour.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dour. Accessed 18 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


: looking or being stern or sullen
dourly adverb
dourness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on dour

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