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

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Other Words from dreary

drearily \ ˈdrir-​ə-​lē How to pronounce drearily (audio) \ adverb
dreariness \ ˈdrir-​ē-​nəs How to pronounce dreariness (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 Tiny people interrupting dreary newscasts to remind us that, beyond the fear and grief that seem to eclipse everything right now, there is still dear, joyful, innocence? Jenny Singer, Glamour, "All I Want to Watch Is Kids Crashing Their Parents’ Live TV Interviews," 1 July 2020 Dickinson said her life had not been constrained or dreary in any way. Martha Ackmann, The Atlantic, "The Encounter That Revealed a Different Side of Emily Dickinson," 23 June 2020 Cool, wet and dreary conditions will stick around as the upper-level low pressure gradually weakens. Janice Dean, Fox News, "Severe weather threat for central Plains, Midwest as fire danger begins to ease in Southwest," 18 June 2020 The flabby, violent, ineffective police state that advances nightly through plumes of tear gas is the dreary and inevitable outcome of the unspoken and unexamined political consensus. David Roth, The New Republic, "Twilight of the Cop Consensus," 11 June 2020 After your next dreary Zoom meeting, remember that great things have been accomplished at a distance. The Economist, "Home Entertainment “Give Up” is a fitting pandemic soundtrack—in more ways than one," 11 June 2020 October may offer ample occasions for social contacts or the chance to escape dreary work routines with a romantic getaway. oregonlive, "Horoscope for May 27, 2020: Happy birthday Ben Feldman; Libra, consider the source," 27 May 2020 Staff revealed the dreary budget numbers using a power-point presentation during Tuesday’s RTA board of trustees meeting. Peter Krouse, cleveland, "Greater Cleveland RTA expecting huge reductions in fare collections and sales tax revenue," 12 May 2020 Humble beginnings Buttigieg launched his campaign on a dreary spring day, April 14, 2019, in South Bend before a crowd of about 5,000 people. Chris Sikich, Indianapolis Star, "'Today is a moment of truth:' Buttigieg abruptly ends presidential bid," 1 Mar. 2020

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.

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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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Time Traveler for dreary

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for dreary

Last Updated

10 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dreary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dreary. Accessed 10 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for dreary


How to pronounce dreary (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of dreary

: causing unhappiness or sad feelings : not warm, cheerful, etc.


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

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More from Merriam-Webster on dreary

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dreary

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dreary

Spanish Central: Translation of dreary

Nglish: Translation of dreary for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dreary for Arabic Speakers

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