\ ˈləl \
lulled; lulling; lulls

Definition of lull

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to cause to sleep or rest : soothe He was lulled to sleep by her soothing voice.
2 : to cause to relax vigilance were lulled into a false sense of security



Definition of lull (Entry 2 of 2)

1 archaic : something that lulls especially : lullaby
2 : a temporary pause or decline in activity the early-morning lull in urban noise : such as
a : a temporary calm before or during a storm
b : a temporary drop in business activity

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Synonyms & Antonyms for lull

Synonyms: Verb

becalm, calm, compose, lullaby, quiet, quieten [chiefly British], salve, settle, soothe, still, tranquilize (also tranquillize)

Synonyms: Noun

break, breath, breather, interruption, pause, recess

Antonyms: Verb

agitate, discompose, disquiet, disturb, key (up), perturb, upset, vex

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Examples of lull in a Sentence


The music lulled him to sleep. the absence of attacks for such an extended period had lulled the nation into a false sense of security


we took the opportunity of a lull in the conversation to announce that we were engaged to be married
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Because planes effectively fly themselves for long periods, pilots can become lulled into losing awareness of system functions. Robert Wall, WSJ, "Man Vs. Machine at 40,000 Feet," 6 Jan. 2019 But a large part of why that strategy is working is because Durant is allowing himself to be lulled into it. Tim Bontemps,, "Kevin Durant is reverting to old habits as Warriors get pushed to brink of elimination," 25 May 2018 On Christmas the packages sat untouched through an interminable breakfast and a long, ritualistic coffee-drinking, as if to lull the morning’s presents into a false sense of security. Alexandra Kleeman, WSJ, "New Year’s Resolution: Pop Champagne Whenever," 28 Dec. 2018 You are lulled into a hypnotic state that dulls the senses and the prefrontal cortex. Anne Slowey, Condé Nast Traveler, "Fear and Self-Loathing in the American Southwest," 25 July 2018 People like Mills can be lulled into thinking a hurricane is less dangerous when the rating of a storm is reduced. Fox News, "Hurricane rating system fails to account for deadly rain," 18 Sep. 2018 But, Rosenberg tells The Verge, stories also lull us into a false sense of knowledge and fundamentally limit our understanding of the world. Angela Chen, The Verge, "How History Gets Things Wrong," 5 Oct. 2018 Compressed into a single, dreamlike 100-minute journey, the film records without commentary the passing landscape and the passengers, with subtle geographic and demographic changes emerging from the lulling rhythms. Peter Keough,, "An activist, a stripper, a funny guy, and a secret history of America," 22 Mar. 2018 Root may lull you with its relative simplicity and pleasant facade, but the game really models geo-political instability. Charlie Theel, Ars Technica, "Root is a terrific—and fully asymmetric—woodland wargame," 29 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, which ended a lull in violence that lasted for about 10 months in 2018. Jared Malsin, WSJ, "Blast at Cairo Church Kills Police Officer," 5 Jan. 2019 The Turkish deployment comes amid a lull in a concerted government and Russian aerial bombing campaign on the southern edge of Idlib. Fox News, "Activists: Turkey beefing up its troops in Syria's Idlib," 13 Sep. 2018 The administration should not mistake the temporary lull in terrorist attacks on U.S. soil for a lack of capability or intent. Bruce Hoffman And Seth G. Jones, WSJ, "Early Withdrawal Will Lead to More Terrorism," 10 Jan. 2019 After the current round of storms, though, long-range models suggest a lull for several weeks. Collin Binkley, Fox News, "Q&A: With severe storms approaching US, what to expect?," 9 Sep. 2018 The visitors meanwhile had the first shot that was on target in the game, as Abdul Waris' low strike from distance was pushed to safety by an untroubled Loris Karius, as the tempo of the game soon reached a lull once more., "Liverpool 0-0 Porto (5-0 Agg): Reds Qualify For Champions League Quarters After Comfortable Draw," 6 Mar. 2018 Santa Bart Wortley during a lull at Silver City Galleria. Jennifer Levitz, WSJ, "Sad Santas Confront Empty Malls: ‘Do I Have Something in My Beard?’," 17 Dec. 2018 Through tonight: The current lull in shower activity could turn a little more active early this evening, with a chance for a few showers and an isolated thunderstorm. Rick Grow, Washington Post, "PM Update: Spotty shower/t’storm possible into tonight; partly sunny and pleasant on Monday," 6 May 2018 The surge follows a slight lull in Southern California during the normally busy months of July and August, after an earlier round of tariffs kicked in. Erica E. Phillips, WSJ, "Imports Surge at U.S. Ports as Companies Brace for New Tariffs," 15 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lull.' 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 lull


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1719, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for lull

Verb and Noun

Middle English; probably of imitative origin

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Statistics for lull

Last Updated

31 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for lull

The first known use of lull was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for lull



English Language Learners Definition of lull

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to cause (someone) to fall asleep or become sleepy
: to cause (someone) to feel safe and relaxed instead of careful and alert



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

: a brief time when an action or activity stops


\ ˈləl \
lulled; lulling

Kids Definition of lull

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to make or become sleepy or less watchful lulled by the bobbing of the raft … I went to sleep again.— Theodore Taylor, The Cay



Kids Definition of lull (Entry 2 of 2)

: a period of calm or inactivity There was a lull in the storm.

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More from Merriam-Webster on lull

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lull

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lull

Spanish Central: Translation of lull

Nglish: Translation of lull for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lull for Arabic Speakers

Comments on lull

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esteemed in general opinion

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