English dictionary

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English adjective: dull

1. dull lacking in liveliness or animation

SamplesHe was so dull at parties.
A dull political campaign.
A large dull impassive man.
Dull days with nothing to do.
How dull and dreary the world is.
Fell back into one of her dull moods.

Similararid, bovine, desiccate, desiccated, drab, dreary, heavy, humdrum, lackluster, lacklustre, leaden, lusterless, lustreless, monotonous

See alsocolorless, colourless, spiritless, unanimated



2. dull emitting or reflecting very little light

SamplesA dull glow.
Dull silver badly in need of a polish.
A dull sky.

Similarflat, lackluster, lacklustre, lusterless, lustreless, mat, matt, matte, matted, soft, subdued

See alsounpolished

Attributebrightness, brightness level, light, luminance, luminosity, luminousness


3. dull being or made softer or less loud or clear

SamplesThe dull boom of distant breaking waves.
Muffled drums.
The muffled noises of the street.
Muted trumpets.

Synonymsmuffled, muted, softened



4. dull so lacking in interest as to cause mental weariness

SamplesA boring evening with uninteresting people.
The deadening effect of some routine tasks.
A dull play.
His competent but dull performance.
A ho-hum speaker who couldn't capture their attention.
What an irksome task the writing of long letters is.
Tedious days on the train.
The tiresome chirping of a cricket.
Other people's dreams are dreadfully wearisome.

Synonymsboring, deadening, ho-hum, irksome, slow, tedious, tiresome, wearisome



5. dull (of color) very low in saturation; highly diluted

SamplesDull greens and blues.


Antonymspure, saturated

6. dull not keenly felt

SamplesA dull throbbing.
Dull pain.



7. dull slow to learn or understand; lacking intellectual acuity

SamplesSo dense he never understands anything I say to him.
Never met anyone quite so dim.
Although dull at classical learning, at mathematics he was uncommonly quick.
Dumb officials make some really dumb decisions.
He was either normally stupid or being deliberately obtuse.
Worked with the slow students.

Synonymsdense, dim, dumb, obtuse, slow



8. dull (of business) not active or brisk

SamplesBusiness is dull (or slow).
A sluggish market.

Synonymsslow, sluggish


Domain categorybusiness, business enterprise, commercial enterprise


9. dull not having a sharp edge or point

SamplesThe knife was too dull to be of any use.

Similarblunt, blunted, dulled, edgeless, unsharpened


10. dull blunted in responsiveness or sensibility

SamplesA dull gaze.
So exhausted she was dull to what went on about her.



11. dull not clear and resonant; sounding as if striking with or against something relatively soft

SamplesThe dull thud.
Thudding bullets.


Similarnonresonant, unreverberant


12. dull darkened with overcast

SamplesA dark day.
A dull sky.
The sky was leaden and thick.




English verb: dull

1. dull (contact) make dull in appearance

SamplesAge had dulled the surface.

Pattern of useSomebody ----s something.
Something ----s something

Broader (hypernym)alter, change, modify

2. dull (change) become dull or lusterless in appearance; lose shine or brightness

SamplesThe varnished table top dulled with time.

Pattern of useSomething ----s

Broader (hypernym)change

3. dull (perception) deaden (a sound or noise), especially by wrapping

Synonymsdamp, dampen, muffle, mute, tone down

Pattern of useSomebody ----s something.
Something ----s something

Broader (hypernym)soften

4. dull (perception) make numb or insensitive

SamplesThe shock numbed her senses.

Synonymsbenumb, blunt, numb

Pattern of useSomebody ----s something.
Somebody ----s somebody.
Something ----s somebody

Broader (hypernym)desensitise, desensitize

5. dull (contact) make dull or blunt

SamplesToo much cutting dulls the knife's edge.


Pattern of useSomebody ----s something.
Something ----s something

Broader (hypernym)alter, change, modify


6. dull (change) become less interesting or attractive


Pattern of useSomething ----s

Broader (hypernym)change

7. dull (change) make less lively or vigorous

SamplesMiddle age dulled her appetite for travel.

Pattern of useSomebody ----s something.
Something ----s something

Broader (hypernym)weaken

Narrower (hyponym)cloud

Based on WordNet 3.0 copyright © Princeton University.
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