\ 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 And more than 500,000 Democrats voted in the dull-as-dirt U.S. Senate race. Daniel Bice, Journal Sentinel, 10 Aug. 2022 Or is the plain, dull Cannibal a sign that American filmmakers, like our pop musicians, have definitively lost their bearings? Armond White, National Review, 10 Aug. 2022 And there were plenty of opportunities for him to be upset by pushy fans who wanted an autograph, a photo, or a lengthy, dull conversation, some times within a few minutes of going on the air. Houston Mitchell, Los Angeles Times, 9 Aug. 2022 What could play as an intriguingly mysterious persona in other hands instead comes across as mildly irritated and dull. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, 5 Aug. 2022 Doing the worst first makes the dull things disappear and other tasks go faster and be more enjoyable. Christopher Davenport, Forbes, 4 Aug. 2022 Sufferers describe the pain as a constant dull ache that has persisted over a prolonged period. Bryant Stamford, The Courier-Journal, 4 Aug. 2022 There's virtually nothing dull about how the Macan S drives. Basem Wasef, Car and Driver, 4 Aug. 2022 The toppling of the pedantic figurehead notorious for his dull speeches, could provide an opening for a more charismatic new leader who could help al-Qaeda regain its stature atop the global Islamist movement. Souad Mekhennet, Washington Post, 2 Aug. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The pain suffered by the Suns and their fans in the humiliating Game 7 loss to the Mavericks might eventually dull. Kent Somers, The Arizona Republic, 17 May 2022 Repetitive self-help themes can dull the senses, however. Robyn Bahr, The Hollywood Reporter, 24 Mar. 2022 But by week two or three, the luster on these items may be starting to dull, thanks to little fingers, water spots, grease splatters and just plain old wear and tear. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, 29 June 2022 Resist the temptation of turning to drinking, drugs, overeating and other bad habits to dull the pain. Jack Kelly, Forbes, 26 June 2022 Like knives, the blade will dull over time; unlike knives, sharpening isn’t an option. Bon Appétit, 23 May 2022 Its knobbier tires may dull its ultimate dynamic performance a bit, but the wide-ranging enhancements made to the entire Grand Cherokee lineup ensure that its on-road manners and general civility are thoroughly agreeable. Dan Edmunds, Car and Driver, 9 May 2022 Bask in the glow because, as San Diego so painfully knows, seasons can dull in an instant. Bryce Millercolumnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 Apr. 2022 Smith said access was a prime reason why marginalized groups would seek to dull the pressures of the world through alcohol. John-john Williams Iv, Baltimore Sun, 23 June 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

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

14 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

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