- 1Lacking interest or excitement: your diet doesn’t have to be dull and boringMore example sentences
uninteresting, boring, tedious, tiresome, wearisome, dry, dry as dust, flat, bland, characterless, featureless, colourless, monotonous, unexciting, uninspiring, unstimulating, lacking variety, lacking variation, lacking excitement, lacking interest, unimaginative, uneventful, lifeless, soulless, insipid; unoriginal, derivative, commonplace, prosaic, run-of-the-mill, humdrum, unremarkable, banal, lame, plodding, ponderous, pedestrian• informal dull as dishwater, deadly, no great shakes, not up to muchScottish • informal dreich
- The next day was as boring, mundane, unexciting, humdrum, dull, tedious, uneventful and monotonous as usual.
- That would add greater interest to an otherwise dull sport, and would mean a large pool of volunteers willing to sweep up the pitch at the final whistle.
- It was a rare moment of excitement in an otherwise dull match.
- 2Lacking brightness, vividness, or sheen: his face glowed in the dull lamplight his black hair looked dullMore example sentences
- There's a uniform, dull sheen to the advice received by council.
- It's now hanging over my desk bringing a little brightness into my otherwise dull room.
- I use a stick to gingerly push aside the stalks and turn over the debris, picking out the dull sheen of a slug here, the progress of a tiny worm there.
- 2.1(Of the weather) overcast; gloomy: next morning dawned dullMore example sentences
- Only when he had not returned in the early evening - he had no coat and was only wearing a thin cotton shirt even though the weather was dull and showery - did concern start to mount.
- Film-makers also say the dull weather bathes the vehicle in a soft light preferable to the harsh reflections caused by bright sunlight on shiny metal surfaces.
- It's been mild, too, and I had the kitchen door wide open until the early evening, much to the delight of the cats, who love to mooch in and out when the weather is dull.
- 2.2(Of sound) not clear; muffled: a dull thud of hoovesMore example sentences
- At first, the sound is just a dull roar, but then after a while you pick out patterns in the ticking, as the metronomes go in and out of phase with each other.
- What that means for people nearby is that nights are accompanied by the sound of a dull thud, boom-booming its way around the neighbourhood.
- There was an uncanny lack of sound for an attack until about fifty yards in front of the gate when the warriors took up a battle cry that sounded like a dull roar.
- 2.3(Of pain) indistinctly felt; not acute: there was a dull pain in his lower jawMore example sentences
- Having said that I know I'm lucky that it only effects a few joints in my fingers and the pain is more a dull ache than a debilitating one.
- Some women often have tension headaches, which cause squeezing pain or a dull ache on both sides of the head or the back of the neck.
- After several minutes, the pain subsided to a dull ache in my rib cage.
- 2.4(Of an edge or blade) blunt: when cutting hard rock the edge soon became dullMore example sentences
- Using the dull edge of the knife blade, scrape the inside of the top shell in short movements going away from you.
- Using the dull edge of a knife, scrape any remaining innards from the body.
- Try removing as much of the label or tape as possible with your fingernail or the dull edge of a knife.
- 2.5(Of activity) sluggish or slow-moving: shares closed weaker after a day of dull tradingMore example sentences
slack, sluggish, flat, slow, slow-moving, quiet, inactive, static, stagnant, depressedsluggish, lethargic, enervated, unenergetic, listless, languid, torpid, inactive, inert, slow, slow-moving, sleepy, somnolent, drowsy, weary, tired, fatigued, heavy, apatheticNorth American • informal logyMedicine asthenic, neurasthenic• archaic lymphatic
- It has to be said, this was a horrendously dull process.
- I never kept a diary when I was growing up but I did receive them as Christmas presents and loved the idea of documenting my daily and dull doings.
- 3(Of a person) slow to understand; stupid: the voice of a teacher talking to a rather dull childMore example sentences
unintelligent, stupid, slow, dull-witted, slow-witted, witless, doltish, dunce-like, stolid, vacuous, empty-headed, brainless, mindless, foolish, half-witted, idiotic, moronic, imbecilic, cretinous, obtuse• informal dense, dim, dim-witted, thick, thick as two short planks, dumb, dopey, dozy, lamebrained, pig-ignorant, bovine, slow on the uptake, soft in the head, brain-dead, boneheaded, chuckleheaded, dunderheaded, wooden-headed, fat-headed, muttonheadedNorth American • vulgar slang dumb-ass
- Many parents do not understand Learning Disability and think the children are simply dull.
- You have to understand, Saffron was not such a dull girl as she's probably worked herself up to be in your cold, critical eyes.
- It was alleged that slower children were occasionally told to stay away from school on the inspection day and that some dull children were refused admittance to schools altogether.
- 3.1 • archaic (Of a person’s senses) not perceiving things distinctly.More example sentences
- If I should accede one day to Heaven, it must be there as it is here, except that I will be rid of my dull senses and my heavy bones.
- I am not particularly strong, I lack speed, my senses are dull in comparison, my eyesight sucks, my sense of smell and that of hearing are almost negligible.
- In doing so, mankind has become callous and his senses have become dull to the ultimate pleasure this relationship would offer.
verbBack to top
- Make or become dull or less intense: [with object]: time dulls the memory [no object]: Albert’s eyes dulled a littleMore example sentences
lessen, decrease, diminish, reduce, dampen, depress, take the edge off, blunt, deaden, mute, soften, tone down, allay, ease, soothe, assuage, alleviate, palliate, moderate, mitigatenumb, benumb, deaden, desensitize, render insensitive, stupefy, daze, stun; drug, sedate, tranquillize, narcotizefade, pale, bleach, wash out, decolorize, decolour, dim, etiolateblur, veil, obscure, shadow, fog• literary bedimdampen, put a damper on, cast a pall over, cast down, lower, depress, crush, shake, sap, suppress, extinguish, smother, stifle
- It has a way of diminishing the shine, dulling the glamour and dampening the sizzle of even the glitziest of clubs.
- It is a narcotic that dulls the brain and deadens the nerves.
- Aesthetically, the palette manages something paradoxical: it both intensifies and dulls the impact of onscreen violence.
(as) dull as dishwater (or ditchwater)
- British Extremely dull.More example sentences
- Hertfordshire South West was dull as ditchwater, Bedford was fairly bland and Suffolk South was a safe seat of the most tedious kind.
- My option now is to use this boredom to concentrate more on the degree, although the latest book on animal rights is as dull as ditchwater now.
- Needless to say, it undoubtedly oozes discreet layers of sub-text, but like a lot of dialogue concealing deeply-hidden meanings, it's as dull as dishwater to read or hear unless it's artfully reinterpreted.
dull the edge of
- Cause to be less keenly felt; reduce the intensity of: she’d have to find something to dull the edges of the painMore example sentences
- However, vibrant as this movement was, the slow and insidious process of co-option began to dull the edge of militancy.
- A life-threatening crash could not dull the edge of his commitment, and still he cannot walk away completely.
- In fact, his character is an example how overexposure dulls the edge of comedy.
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- In fact, autonomy here is about choosing the right man, and not settling for the dullish Lord or Viscount or advertising executive waiting in the wings.
- Also, it's painted darkish and dullish colours.
- The rosiness of my cheeks transformed to a dullish gray.
dullness (also dulness)
- More example sentences
- Although, perhaps the dullness could have its advantages.
- Will this diary disintegrate into dullness and esoterica?
- The author reads the memoir that covers his years in Britain, then immigration to the dullness of Wellington in the 50s.
Old English dol 'stupid', of Germanic origin; related to Dutch dol 'crazy' and German toll 'mad, fantastic, wonderful'.