Thesaurus

dull

adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms of dull

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 lacking sharpness of edge or point
  • the dull knife just bounced off the skin of the tomato without cutting it

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2 causing weariness, restlessness, or lack of interest
  • a dull dance recital that made us wish that we were someplace else

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3 covered over by clouds
  • dull skies plagued most of our vacation days at the beach

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5 lacking intensity of color
  • that canvas shirt should fade to an attractive, dull red over time

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6 not having or showing an ability to absorb ideas readily
  • the importance of the discovery was lost on the dull minds of his colleagues

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dull

verb

Synonyms & Antonyms of dull (Entry 2 of 2)

1 to reduce or weaken in strength or feeling
  • the aspirin dulled his headache and he was soon feeling better

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2 to make white or lighter by removing color
  • the painting's once-vivid colors have been dulled by time

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See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About dull

How does the adjective dull differ from other similar words?

The words blunt and obtuse are common synonyms of dull. While all three words mean "not sharp, keen, or acute," dull suggests a lack or loss of keenness, zest, or pungency.

a dull pain

a dull mind

When can blunt be used instead of dull?

Although the words blunt and dull have much in common, blunt suggests an inherent lack of sharpness or quickness of feeling or perception.

a person of blunt sensibility

When is it sensible to use obtuse instead of dull?

The meanings of obtuse and dull largely overlap; however, obtuse implies such bluntness as makes one insensitive in perception or imagination.

too obtuse to take the hint

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Time Traveler for dull

Time Traveler

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

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Cite this Entry

“Dull.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/dull. Accessed 19 Jun. 2021.

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Dictionary: Definition of dull

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