Definition of dreary in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈdrɪəri/

adjective (drearier, dreariest)

Depressingly dull and bleak or repetitive: the dreary round of working, eating, and trying to sleep
More example sentences
  • You know you're in a bad food place when takeaways are the boring dreary option.
  • How better to brighten up a sedate outfit, or add a dash of colour to an otherwise dreary day?
  • Outside, everything was as damp and dreary as virtually every day of this sopping wet month has been.
dull, drab, uninteresting, flat, dry, banal, bland, insipid, colourless, lifeless, sterile, tedious, wearisome, boring, unexciting, unstimulating, uninspiring, desolate, vapid, jejune, bloodless, soul-destroying, as dry as dust;
humdrum, routine, monotonous, uneventful, run-of-the-mill, prosaic, pedestrian, commonplace, everyday, unexceptional, unremarkable, quotidian, unvaried, repetitive, featureless, ho-hum
sad, miserable, depressing, grim, gloomy, glum, sombre, grave, doleful, mournful, melancholic, joyless, cheerless, wretched
gloomy, dismal, bleak, dull, dark, dingy, murky, overcast, depressing, sombre



Pronunciation: /ˈdrɪərɪli/
Example sentences
  • And there is a sense, too, in which this is a problem of style; because when one opens the contemporary novel, the first thing one notices is how drearily written it is.
  • Sure as night followed day, Sunday would trail drearily into Monday, as the utterly predictable process of the working week began again.
  • People walked drearily through the wet streets with dull Sunday faces, longing for all to be over.


Pronunciation: /ˈdrɪərɪnəs/
Example sentences
  • Both groups separately discuss the boredom and dreariness of their lives and decide to have a night out on the town - predictably ending up in the same place.
  • Located in the eastern part of the city on a once dry and desolate vast piece of land, today it is a fascinating beehive of activities, the dreariness having given place to eye catching greenery and multiple activities.
  • By sheer force of contrast, after the washed out bleak dreariness of the English winter I'm beginning to understand the stature of Spring in English literature.


Old English drēorig 'gory, cruel', also 'melancholy', from drēor 'gore', of Germanic origin; related to German traurig 'sorrowful', also to drowsy, and probably to drizzle.

  • In Saxon times dreary was ‘gory, bloody’. It came from a word meaning ‘gore’ which was related to Old English drēosan ‘to drop, fall’, the source of dreary drizzle (mid 16th century). The modern sense ‘depressingly dull and bleak’ did not develop until the mid 17th century.

Words that rhyme with dreary

beery, bleary, cheery, dearie, Dun Laoghaire, eerie, eyrie (US aerie), Kashmiri, leery, peri, praemunire, query, smeary, teary, theory, weary

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: dreary

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