\ ˈdəl How to pronounce dull (audio) \

Definition of dull

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : tedious, uninteresting dull lectures
2 : lacking sharpness of edge or point a dull knife
3a : not resonant or ringing a dull booming sound
b : lacking in force, intensity, or sharpness a dull ache
4 : lacking brilliance or luster a dull finish
5 : cloudy dull weather
6 of a color : low in saturation (see saturation sense 4a) and low in lightness a dull green
7 : mentally slow : stupid
8a : slow in perception or sensibility : insensible somewhat dull of hearing dull to what went on about her— Willa Cather
b : lacking zest (see zest sense 2) or vivacity : listless a dull performance
9 : slow in action : sluggish dull markets


dulled; dulling; dulls

Definition of dull (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to make dull dull a knife's edge

intransitive verb

: to become dull The blade dulled with use.

Other Words from dull


dullness or less commonly dulness \ ˈdəl-​nəs How to pronounce dull (audio) \ noun
dully \ ˈdə(l)-​lē How to pronounce dull (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for dull

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Verb

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Choose the Right Synonym for dull


dull, blunt, obtuse mean not sharp, keen, or acute. dull suggests a lack or loss of keenness, zest, or pungency. a dull pain a dull mind blunt suggests an inherent lack of sharpness or quickness of feeling or perception. a person of blunt sensibility obtuse implies such bluntness as makes one insensitive in perception or imagination. too obtuse to take the hint

synonyms see in addition stupid

Examples of dull in a Sentence

Adjective the dull roar of the crowd the dull knife just bounced off the skin of the tomato without cutting it Verb Fog dulled the morning sunlight. Special earplugs dulled the sound of the chain saw. His hair dulled as he aged. The dog's eyes dulled as he got sick. She takes medicine to dull the pain. Fear dulled his need for adventure. The knife was dulled from use. The blade should be replaced as soon as it dulls. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective There’s never a dull moment in the film or the score. Jon Burlingame, Variety, 22 Apr. 2022 Now, as then, there is a dull emptiness at the work’s center. New York Times, 24 Apr. 2022 This spray brings life and volume back to limp, dull hair. ELLE, 23 Apr. 2022 The missiles that NBC News was able to see looked almost like two planes falling out of the sky until dull explosions could be heard and smoke poured from the blast sites. Dan Gallo, NBC News, 18 Apr. 2022 Through the day Saturday, air raid sirens wailed in Kyiv; and overnight, the distant, dull thuds of air-defense missiles exploding could be heard in the sky over the city. Arkansas Online, 17 Apr. 2022 Days and nights of dull watches and putrid food are punctuated by the terrors of sea storms and savage battles. Jonathan W. Jordan, WSJ, 15 Apr. 2022 The occasional wreath broke the monotony of dull earthen colors, and, in the front, three rectangular holes awaited the newly fallen. Los Angeles Times, 15 Apr. 2022 Those enamored with the aspirational aspects of vision-setting may be surprised to see something as dull as deadlines at the top of this list. Michael Horowitz, Forbes, 15 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Billy, who struggles with a mood disorder and was psychologically abused by his father, relies on escapist storytelling and alcohol to dull his pain. Leah Tyler, ajc, 25 Apr. 2022 The ease with which some Russians are moving money via crypto doesn't necessarily dull the pain of sanctions since crypto remains niche and accessible to only a sliver of the population, Reynolds says. Yvonne Lau, Fortune, 30 Mar. 2022 Box clutches are quite classic, but that doesn’t equate to dull. Laura Lajiness Kaupke, Vogue, 29 Mar. 2022 The song starts with a collection of strings, which can usually dull the mood. Troy L. Smith, cleveland, 24 Feb. 2022 By early 2020, Ralphs was up to six daily doses of oxycodone to dull chronic pain from an autoimmune disease and an old back fracture. The Salt Lake Tribune, 8 Feb. 2022 So go aurora-hunting in late September and in mid to late March (though try to avoid a bright full Moon, which can dull faint aurorae). Jamie Carter, Forbes, 11 Oct. 2021 Scrolling through a flood of heartbreaking images can inspire or dull us, can turn us into saber-rattlers or pacifists. Nicole Hemmer, CNN, 25 Feb. 2022 Reasons for optimism, sure, but that doesn't dull a third semistate setback in four seasons. Brian Haenchen, The Indianapolis Star, 21 Feb. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of dull


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 7


13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for dull

Adjective and Verb

Middle English dul; akin to Old English dol foolish, Old Irish dall blind

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Time Traveler for dull

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The first known use of dull was in the 13th century

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Last Updated

10 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Dull.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dull. Accessed 17 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for dull


\ ˈdəl How to pronounce dull (audio) \
duller; dullest

Kids Definition of dull

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : not sharp in edge or point : blunt a dull knife
2 : not shiny or bright The old trophy had a dull finish.
3 : not interesting : boring a dull movie
4 : not clear and ringing a dull sound
5 : not sharp or intense I have a dull ache in my arm.
6 : slightly grayish a dull red
7 : cloudy sense 1, overcast a dull sky
8 : slow in understanding things : not smart
9 : without energy or spirit She was feeling dull.
10 : slow in action : sluggish Business was dull.

Other Words from dull

dullness noun
dully adverb


dulled; dulling

Kids Definition of dull (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make or become less sharp, bright, or intense Medicine dulled the pain.


\ ˈdəl How to pronounce dull (audio) \

Medical Definition of dull

1 : mentally slow or stupid
2 : slow in perception or sensibility
3 : lacking sharpness of edge or point a dull scalpel
4 : lacking in force, intensity, or acuteness a dull pain

Other Words from dull

dull verb
dullness or dulness \ ˈdəl-​nəs How to pronounce dull (audio) \ noun
dully \ ˈdəl-​ē How to pronounce dull (audio) \ adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on dull

Nglish: Translation of dull for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dull for Arabic Speakers


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