drea·​ry | \ ˈdrir-ē How to pronounce dreary (audio) \
drearier; dreariest

Definition of dreary

1 : feeling, displaying, or reflecting listlessness or discouragement cheer a dreary mind— George Berkeley
2 : having nothing likely to provide cheer, comfort, or interest : gloomy, dismal a cold, dreary morning

Other Words from dreary

drearily \ ˈdrir-​ə-​lē How to pronounce dreary (audio) \ adverb
dreariness \ ˈdrir-​ē-​nəs How to pronounce dreary (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for dreary

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 dreary in a Sentence

It was a gray, dreary morning. The family struggled through dreary economic times.
Recent Examples on the Web Designer Barrett Cooke revitalized the formerly dark, dreary—and frankly, dysfunctional kitchen by reworking the layout and adding a walnut butcher block island with ample storage, durable walnut cabinetry, and high-end appliances. Ann Abel, House Beautiful, 7 June 2022 Ozark is a show that's never shied away from what it's had to say about the dark, dreary, and unfortunate way that the world works. Evan Romano, Men's Health, 2 May 2022 The cold, dreary weather created a less-than-ideal backdrop for what would become an instant classic. Ben Flanagan | Bflanagan@al.com, al, 1 Oct. 2021 Still, the dreary conditions didn't stop Louisville native Jack Harlow from rocking the stage as the day's headliner, with other performers like Earl Sweatshirt and COIN entertaining the crowd as well. Kathryn Gregory, The Courier-Journal, 31 May 2022 And while that may sound like good news for beachgoers after facing a dreary spring, visitors are being asked to take precautionary measures ahead of Monday, the unofficial start of summer. Tatyana Turner, Chicago Tribune, 29 May 2022 Since his Antarctica trip, Pellegrin has walked among the burning embers of wildfires, floated on glassy waters in front of glaciers, climbed the steaming rims of volcanoes, and trudged through dreary coastal marshes. Ben Taub, The New Yorker, 16 May 2022 Tatum quickly erased those dreary visions by not only scoring 18 first-half points to give the Celtics a double-digit lead but also carrying his team and preventing another Milwaukee rally in the fourth with brilliant shot-making. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 14 May 2022 But dreary weather, including overcast skies, gusty winds and occasional rain, will linger in parts of the Northeast through the mid-Atlantic over the weekend. Christine Fernando, USA TODAY, 6 May 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dreary.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of dreary

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for dreary

Middle English drery, from Old English drēorig sad, bloody, from drēor gore; akin to Old High German trūrēn to be sad, Goth driusan to fall

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The first known use of dreary was before the 12th century

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Last Updated

28 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Dreary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dreary. Accessed 6 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for dreary


drea·​ry | \ ˈdrir-ē How to pronounce dreary (audio) \
drearier; dreariest

Kids Definition of dreary

: dull and depressing a dreary, rainy Monday

Other Words from dreary

drearily \ ˈdrir-​ə-​lē \ adverb
dreariness \ ˈdrir-​ē-​nəs \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on dreary

Nglish: Translation of dreary for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dreary for Arabic Speakers


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