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dismal

Syllabification: dis·mal
Pronunciation: /ˈdizməl
 
/

Definition of dismal in English:

adjective

1Depressing; dreary: the dismal weather made the late afternoon seem like evening
More example sentences
  • And mine is the world of the rented room, where damp creeps in in the dismal gloom and music is the only thing I own.
  • As glorious Tramore yet again defied the dismal weather forecasts the fans flocked to the seaside venue.
  • One idea is pushing election day back into October, to spare voters going to the polls in dismal weather.
Synonyms
1.1(Of a person or a mood) gloomy: his dismal mood was not dispelled by finding the house empty
More example sentences
  • Her reassuring smile did little to reassure her dismal friends.
  • After the past 10 days in the spotlight, internal morale for the 200 STB staff is dismal.
  • If these really are the views of those around him, one fears he must run with a rather dismal crowd.
Synonyms
1.2 informal Pitifully or disgracefully bad: he shuddered as he watched his team’s dismal performance
More example sentences
  • The play is a history of his romantic failures, with amorous adventures ranging from the comic to the pitiful but always dismal failures.
  • This self-centredness bothered some of his followers, who quit after the party's dismal electoral performance.
  • By that measure, too, Australia's recent performance looks dismal.

Origin

late Middle English: from earlier dismal (noun), denoting the two days in each month that in medieval times were believed to be unlucky, from Anglo-Norman French dis mal, from medieval Latin dies mali 'evil days'.

Derivatives

dismally

1
adverb
Example sentences
  • Since the currency was launched in a blaze of euphoria it has failed dismally to realise the potential which its supporters claimed it offered.
  • The eighteenth century found his work rather barbarous, while others have found his jokes dismally unfunny.
  • It has dismally failed to prevent over forty years of constant war in Africa where, at last count, about ten armed conflicts were raging.

dismalness

2
noun
Example sentences
  • At present the day was drizzling and chilly, while the huge volumes of smoke from a whole forest of factory chimneys tended to impart a deeper shade of dismalness to the dispiriting landscape.
  • When confronted with an empty tomb in our lives, do we look at the hopefulness of the situation or do we look at the dismalness of the situation?
  • To wait fruitfully is not to dream away the now, to brood about its dismalness, to protest its unacceptability, all the hallmarks of being bored.

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