dreary

adjective
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 No matter how dreary winter gets, one look at 'Samba' will make your day seem brighter. Andrea Beck, Better Homes & Gardens, 11 Aug. 2022 This fantasy sequence — illustrating how Diana would rather be on a date at a disco than at a dreary classical concert — reflected the show’s unapologetic commitment to pop maximalism. New York Times, 7 Aug. 2022 Even while talking through Zoom with a spotty Internet connection, Juliana Joel’s confidence, charisma, and undeniable charm beams through the screen and lights up my dreary office. Olivia Zayas Ryan, refinery29.com, 3 Aug. 2022 That’s where Marco, a 16-year-old on break from his dreary Scottish boarding school, befriends U.S. GI turned fisherman Nicola (played by Franco). K.j. Yossman, Variety, 12 July 2022 So San Francisco, my favorite place, was jumpy, but dreary Erie, Penn. — where my room overlooked the lake — turned out to be as pretty and light-filled as Venice. New York Times, 27 July 2022 In a showing as dreary as the cold, wet weather outside Alaska Airlines Arena, the Bruins couldn’t make a shot and their usually sturdy defense was not offering much resistance. Los Angeles Times, 1 Mar. 2022 Stanley hits Red Square On a dreary Saturday afternoon in August, a plane landed at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport carrying precious cargo. Gene Myers, Detroit Free Press, 14 June 2022 For anyone trying to buy a modern piece of gaming hardware, good news is beginning to peek through the dreary clouds of chip shortages and manufacturing hold-ups. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, 27 June 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

Learn More About dreary

Time Traveler for dreary

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near dreary

drearisome

dreary

dreck

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for dreary

Last Updated

16 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Dreary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dreary. Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for dreary

dreary

adjective
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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!