Denotation vs. Connotation


[bland] /blænd/
adjective, blander, blandest.
pleasantly gentle or agreeable:
a bland, affable manner.
soothing or balmy, as air:
a bland southern breeze.
nonirritating, as food or medicines:
a bland diet.
not highly flavored; mild; tasteless:
a bland sauce.
lacking in special interest, liveliness, individuality, etc.; insipid; dull:
a bland young man; a bland situation comedy.
unemotional, indifferent, or casual:
his bland acknowledgment of guilt.
Origin of bland
1590-1600; < Latin blandus of a smooth tongue, pleasant, soothing
Related forms
blandly, adverb
blandness, noun
1. affable, mild, amiable; suave, urbane. 2, 3. soft, mild.
1. cruel; boorish. 2. harsh. 3. irritating. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for blandly
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "Now, you know better than that, Harran," remonstrated S. Behrman blandly.

    The Octopus Frank Norris
  • "I was just interviewing the Prince," explained Dan, blandly.

    The Destroyer Burton Egbert Stevenson
  • Commonly, as a chief Hanway manager, he lay as blandly close and noncommittal as a clam.

    The President Alfred Henry Lewis
  • "I have not done much, but I have accomplished something," said he, blandly.

    Barrington Charles James Lever
  • He made no answer, and Roy continued, blandly confidential still.

    Verner's Pride Mrs. Henry Wood
  • "Morlache would be quite content with your word," said Jekyl, blandly.

    The Daltons, Volume I (of II) Charles James Lever
  • Im sorry to see that poor Andover is dead, said the Canon, blandly.

    The Bishop's Apron W. Somerset Maugham
  • "It does me good even to witness the pleasure it yields," said Upton, blandly.

    The Fortunes Of Glencore Charles James Lever
British Dictionary definitions for blandly


devoid of any distinctive or stimulating characteristics; uninteresting; dull: bland food
gentle and agreeable; suave
(of the weather) mild and soothing
unemotional or unmoved: a bland account of atrocities
See also bland out
Derived Forms
blandly, adverb
blandness, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Latin blandus flattering
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for blandly



1660s, from Italian blando "delicate," or Old French bland "flattering, complimentary," both from Latin blandus "smooth-talking, flattering, alluring," perhaps from PIE *mlad-, nasalized variant of *meld-, extended form of root *mel- (see melt). Related: Blandly; blandness. Latin also had blandiloquentulus "flattering in speech," which might have yielded a useful English *blandiloquent.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for bland

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for blandly

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for blandly