as in boring
causing weariness, restlessness, or lack of interest another dreary social event to suffer through

Synonyms & Similar Words

Antonyms & Near Antonyms

Synonym Chooser

How does the adjective dreary contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of dreary are bleak, cheerless, desolate, dismal, and gloomy. While all these words mean "devoid of cheer or comfort," dreary, often interchangeable with dismal, emphasizes discouragement resulting from sustained dullness or futility.

a dreary job

When might bleak be a better fit than dreary?

The meanings of bleak and dreary largely overlap; however, bleak suggests chill, dull, and barren characteristics that utterly dishearten.

the bleak years of the depression

When can cheerless be used instead of dreary?

While in some cases nearly identical to dreary, cheerless stresses absence of anything cheering.

a drab and cheerless office

Where would desolate be a reasonable alternative to dreary?

The words desolate and dreary 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 dismal take the place of dreary?

The words dismal and dreary are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, dismal indicates extreme and utterly depressing gloominess.

dismal weather

When could gloomy be used to replace dreary?

In some situations, the words gloomy and dreary are roughly equivalent. However, gloomy often suggests lack of hope or promise.

gloomy war news

Thesaurus Entries Near dreary

Cite this Entry

“Dreary.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/dreary. Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

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