dull

adjective
\ˈdəl \

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

dull

verb

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.

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Other Words from dull

Adjective

dullness or less commonly dulness \ ˈdəl-​nəs \ noun
dully \ ˈdə(l)-​lē \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for dull

Adjective

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The Raiders must find a way to better protect Carr, but part of this boils down to play-calling and an overall scheme that is, frankly, dull to watch. Seattle Times Sports Staff, The Seattle Times, "What the (inter)national media are saying about the Seahawks’ 27-3 trouncing of the Oakland Raiders," 15 Oct. 2018 Unfortunately, the effects of floating in the Dead Sea only lasted about two days before my jetlagged skin reared its dull and lifeless head. Jenna Rosenstein, Harper's BAZAAR, "Why the Dead Sea Should Be at the Top of Every Beauty Junkie's Travel List," 5 Sep. 2018 Its detriments range from inefficient land use, to environmental damage from reliance on automobiles, to dull and repetitious housing stock. Anthony Alofsin, The Atlantic, "A Defense of the Suburbs," 6 June 2018 Campsite Care Garden Gems Custom Regimen Master Moisturizer Air travel can suck the moisture out of your skin and hair, leaving both looking dull and dehydrated. Allison Young, Sunset, "10 Best Travel Beauty Kits," 22 Jan. 2018 Our favorite affordable chef's knife Any novice chef will know that a dull, cheap knife will lead to more work or worse, a cut finger. Courtney Campbell, USA TODAY, "These are the 5 Amazon deals you can get before the weekend," 13 Apr. 2018 Noise Level From thunderous in the bar to a dull roar in the dining room. New York Times, "It’s Not Fake French, It’s Frenchette," 10 July 2018 Tesla is clearly getting better at producing cars, but a look at the entire quarterly output should keep any celebration to a dull roar. Charley Grant, WSJ, "Tesla’s Big Number Doesn’t Solve Its Problems," 2 July 2018 Too often, her cast keep their patter at the same dull roar. Lily Janiak, San Francisco Chronicle, "Young womanhood sopping wet with bodily fluids in Shotgun’s ‘Dry Land’," 31 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Franco gave him the Mutumbo finger just in time, but the content of his speech was already dulled by Wiseau’s presence. Jake Kring-schreifels, Esquire, "The Best, Worst, and Most Empowering Moments of the 2018 Golden Globes," 8 Jan. 2018 Others' losses include arms torn off by industrial accidents or improvised bombs, and senses dulled or snuffed out by disease. Erik Sofge, Popular Mechanics, "Smart Bionic Limbs are Reengineering the Human," 28 May 2012 That film can dull your razor, not to mention add a barrier to a close shave. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "Beauty Vlogger Jessie B Uses Olive Oil to Shave Her Bikini Line, But Is It Safe?," 12 June 2018 My phone, dulled from Candy Crush, would be dying soon. Reyhan Harmanci, The Cut, "Pre-Baby Maternity Leave Is the Strangest Vacation," 2 Apr. 2018 Originally, Liverpool had reportedly been favourites to sign the Brazilian shot stopper, only to have their interest dulled slightly by high asking prices. SI.com, "Roma Director Confirms 'No Bids Have Been Made' for Chelsea, Liverpool & Real Madrid Target," 8 July 2018 Neither has Ross, aside from the hard-biting slider that remained an elite weapon until a two-start hiccup dulled some of the shine of his return to San Diego. Jeff Sanders, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Padres' Tyson Ross looking to get back on track vs. Dodgers," 12 July 2018 On the other hand, this acceptance could fall into complacency, dulling the importance of the movement given the ongoing issues still facing the community and cloaking the history of resistance that helped achieve that acceptance in the first place. Ashley Wong, USA TODAY, "Gay Pride parades used to mean protests. Now they're an excuse for straight kids to party," 22 June 2018 Turns out, changes in air pressure can mess with our tastebuds, dulling sweetness and saltiness. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Things We Only Ever Eat and Drink on Planes," 16 May 2018

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.

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First Known Use of dull

Adjective

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 7

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for dull

Adjective

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

Verb

see dull entry 1

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Statistics for dull

Last Updated

20 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dull

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

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More Definitions for dull

dull

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of dull

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: not exciting or interesting

: having an edge or point that is not sharp

of a sound : not clear and loud

dull

verb

English Language Learners Definition of dull (Entry 2 of 2)

: to become or cause (something) to become less clear, distinct, bright, or shiny

: to make (something, such as a feeling) less sharp, strong, or severe

: to become or cause (something, such as a knife or blade) to become less sharp

dull

adjective
\ˈdəl \
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

dull

verb
dulled; dulling

Kids Definition of dull (Entry 2 of 2)

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

dull

adjective
\ˈdəl \

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 \ noun
dully \ ˈdəl-​ē \ adverb

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Comments on dull

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