\ ˈdau̇(-ə)r How to pronounce dour (audio) , ˈdu̇r How to pronounce dour (audio) \

Definition of dour

1 : stern, harsh a dour expression on her face
2 : obstinate, unyielding an insistent hunger for learning and a dour … determination to achieve it— Walter Moberly
3 : gloomy, sullen a dour disposition

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Other Words from dour

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

The first three episodes available for preview are filled with scenes that could function as enjoyable punchlines, if only the tone weren’t so deadeningly dour. Noah Berlatsky, The Verge, "Netflix’s Wu Assassins series lacks the Hong Kong cinema magic," 8 Aug. 2019 On his first assignment as a chauffeur, man-child Michael (Andrew Lua) and dour Gordon (Adrian Pang), two Asian businessmen who don Western names when abroad, drag Boi into a hazardous chase. Carlos Aguilar, Los Angeles Times, "Review: The slick Spanish thriller ‘Boi’ is undercut by an abundance of style," 25 July 2019 The dour earnings call had beenthe tipping point that big investors had been waiting for. Fortune, "Investors Seek an Edge By Using Technology That Reads Between the Lines," 21 July 2019 Superheroes need not be either dour or ridiculous anymore. Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "From Iron Man to Spider-Man: Far From Home: all 23 Marvel movies, ranked," 26 Oct. 2017 The result was an incredibly depressing show — which, given the band's dour songs, is really saying something. Piet Levy, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "The best and worst of Summerfest 2019 in Milwaukee, from Billie Eilish to Jennifer Lopez," 8 July 2019 The Bank of Canada, though, is likely to look past this set of inflation figures, given other signs of softness in the economy and a slightly more dour mood among domestic companies on sales prospects. ... Paul Vieira, WSJ, "Canadian Inflation Accelerated in March," 17 Apr. 2019 The hulking building looks more like a fallout shelter than a seat of government where the halls can be so dour that even the top floor can feel like a musty basement. Globe Staff,, "50 years of pols and paper chases: Tales from inside City Hall," 27 June 2019 Ian Fleming’s James Bond—not the suave movie version, but the dour Scotsman of the original novels—was very much a Bentley man. Mike Duff, Car and Driver, "Aston Martin Offers On Her Majesty's Secret Service Edition of the DBS Superleggera," 21 May 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dour.' 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 dour

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for dour

Middle English, from Latin durus hard — more at during

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Dictionary Entries near dour

do up







Statistics for dour

Last Updated

15 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for dour

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

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More Definitions for dour



English Language Learners Definition of dour

formal : serious and unfriendly : silent and gloomy


\ ˈdau̇r How to pronounce dour (audio) , ˈdu̇r\

Kids Definition of dour

: looking or being serious and unfriendly a dour old man a dour expression

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More from Merriam-Webster on dour

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dour

Spanish Central: Translation of dour

Nglish: Translation of dour for Spanish Speakers

Comments on dour

What made you want to look up dour? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to shake or wave menacingly

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