Synonym Chooser

How does the adjective dismal contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of dismal are bleak, cheerless, desolate, dreary, and gloomy. While all these words mean "devoid of cheer or comfort," dismal indicates extreme and utterly depressing gloominess.

dismal weather

When is it sensible to use bleak instead of dismal?

Although the words bleak and dismal have much in common, bleak suggests chill, dull, and barren characteristics that utterly dishearten.

the bleak years of the depression

When could cheerless be used to replace dismal?

In some situations, the words cheerless and dismal are roughly equivalent. However, cheerless stresses absence of anything cheering.

a drab and cheerless office

When can desolate be used instead of dismal?

The words desolate and dismal can be used in similar contexts, but desolate adds an element of utter remoteness or lack of human contact to any already disheartening aspect.

a desolate outpost

In what contexts can dreary take the place of dismal?

The synonyms dreary and dismal are sometimes interchangeable, but dreary, often interchangeable with dismal, emphasizes discouragement resulting from sustained dullness or futility.

a dreary job

When is gloomy a more appropriate choice than dismal?

While the synonyms gloomy and dismal are close in meaning, gloomy often suggests lack of hope or promise.

gloomy war news

Thesaurus Entries Near dismal

Cite this Entry

“Dismal.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/dismal. Accessed 23 Jun. 2024.

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