dull

1 of 2

adjective

1
: tedious, uninteresting
dull lectures
2
: lacking sharpness of edge or point
a dull knife
3
a
: 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
8
a
: slow in perception or sensibility : insensible
somewhat dull of hearing
dull to what went on about herWilla Cather
b
: lacking zest (see zest sense 2) or vivacity : listless
a dull performance
9
: slow in action : sluggish
dull markets
dullness noun
or less commonly dulness
dully adverb

dull

2 of 2

verb

dulled; dulling; dulls

transitive verb

: to make dull
dull a knife's edge

intransitive verb

: to become dull
The blade dulled with use.
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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
Refuse to give in to the dull lifestyle that keeps you from exploring your potential. Eugenia Last, The Mercury News, 6 June 2024 Public rate hearings are usually dull affairs, full of technical language about methodology. Lawrence Mower, Miami Herald, 4 June 2024
Verb
Yet what truly sets this ensemble apart is the way Groff, Radcliffe and Mendez draw your sympathy without dulling the musical’s sharp edges. Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times, 29 May 2024 The serene sound of the waterfall will dull the sound of your cellphone ringing. Madeleine Marr, Miami Herald, 22 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for dull 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'dull.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective and Verb

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

First Known Use

Adjective

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 7

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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

Dictionary Entries Near dull

Cite this Entry

“Dull.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dull. Accessed 24 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

dull

1 of 2 adjective
1
: mentally slow : stupid
2
3
: slow in action : sluggish
4
: lacking sharpness of edge or point
5
: lacking brilliance or luster
6
: not ringing, sharp, or intense
a dull roar
7
8
: tedious, uninteresting
a dull lecture
9
: slightly grayish
a dull blue
dullness noun
also dulness
dully adverb

dull

2 of 2 verb
: to make or become dull

Medical Definition

dull

adjective
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
dull verb
dullness noun
or dulness
dully adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on dull

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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