\ ˈdəl How to pronounce dull (audio) \

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


dulled; dulling; dulls

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.

Other Words from dull


dullness or less commonly dulness \ ˈdəl-​nəs How to pronounce dull (audio) \ noun
dully \ ˈdə(l)-​lē How to pronounce dull (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for dull

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Verb

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Choose the Right Synonym for dull


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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective David Cameron got a million for a book that was dull. William Booth, Washington Post, 9 July 2022 Prior to this era, artists palettes were dull and dominated by cream, yellow, brown and deep reds. Maggie Menderski, The Courier-Journal, 23 June 2022 The bamboo extract works as an astringent and can be helpful if your skin is dull. Grooming Playbook, The Salt Lake Tribune, 18 May 2022 The physical world of atoms, on the other hand, is dull. Adam A. Millsap, Forbes, 2 May 2022 But readers of celebrity gossip have always had to differentiate between merely entertaining rumors and those that could spiral into harm (while sifting out the ones that are simply dull). Kaitlyn Tiffany, The Atlantic, 27 Oct. 2021 Tarte's Amazonian Clay Matte Waterproof Bronzer adds warmth and livens up a dull complexion, and the durable formula is made to last through sticky weather conditions. Sarah Hoffmann, Allure, 30 June 2022 These sorts of waffling, dull sessions are typical following big moves. Jon Markman, Forbes, 28 June 2022 The GIs washed the vehicles and equipment so Pasley and Stidham could paint them a dull green, covering the familiar desert tan. Sig Christenson, San Antonio Express-News, 10 June 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The pain suffered by the Suns and their fans in the humiliating Game 7 loss to the Mavericks might eventually dull. Kent Somers, The Arizona Republic, 17 May 2022 Repetitive self-help themes can dull the senses, however. Robyn Bahr, The Hollywood Reporter, 24 Mar. 2022 But by week two or three, the luster on these items may be starting to dull, thanks to little fingers, water spots, grease splatters and just plain old wear and tear. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, 29 June 2022 Resist the temptation of turning to drinking, drugs, overeating and other bad habits to dull the pain. Jack Kelly, Forbes, 26 June 2022 Like knives, the blade will dull over time; unlike knives, sharpening isn’t an option. Bon Appétit, 23 May 2022 Its knobbier tires may dull its ultimate dynamic performance a bit, but the wide-ranging enhancements made to the entire Grand Cherokee lineup ensure that its on-road manners and general civility are thoroughly agreeable. Dan Edmunds, Car and Driver, 9 May 2022 Bask in the glow because, as San Diego so painfully knows, seasons can dull in an instant. Bryce Millercolumnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 Apr. 2022 Smith said access was a prime reason why marginalized groups would seek to dull the pressures of the world through alcohol. John-john Williams Iv, Baltimore Sun, 23 June 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of dull


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 7


13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for dull

Adjective and Verb

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

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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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Last Updated

21 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Dull.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dull. Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for dull


\ ˈdəl How to pronounce dull (audio) \
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


dulled; dulling

Kids Definition of dull (Entry 2 of 2)

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


\ ˈdəl How to pronounce dull (audio) \

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 How to pronounce dull (audio) \ noun
dully \ ˈdəl-​ē How to pronounce dull (audio) \ adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on dull

Nglish: Translation of dull for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dull for Arabic Speakers


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