\ 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 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 France and Denmark played out a dour 0-0 draw in Moscow on Tuesday - the first of this World Cup., "Didier Deschamps Claims France 'Achieved Their Goal' After Drab 0-0 Draw With Denmark," 26 June 2018 In the impoverished, dour neighborhood in post-war Naples that provides the setting for Elena Ferrante's four Neapolitan Novels, violence is as much a staple of survival as food and water. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "My Brilliant Friend Producer Breaks Down the Violence of Episode 1," 19 Nov. 2018 Goddard also skimps on the humor and witty banter, instead adopting a languid, dour tone that invites boredom. J.r. Kinnard, The Seattle Times, "‘Bad Times at the El Royale’: First-rate cast checks in, but plot twists fizzle out," 8 Oct. 2018 It's supposed to brighten dour complexions and make concealer glide over dark circles like a dream. Mattie Kahn, Glamour, "A Culture Editor's Impulse Buys: $200 of Potions, Swedish Sweets, and More," 7 Jan. 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

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Statistics for dour

Last Updated

18 Jul 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

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