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Denotation vs. Connotation

bland

[bland] /blænd/
adjective, blander, blandest.
1.
pleasantly gentle or agreeable:
a bland, affable manner.
2.
soothing or balmy, as air:
a bland southern breeze.
3.
nonirritating, as food or medicines:
a bland diet.
4.
not highly flavored; mild; tasteless:
a bland sauce.
5.
lacking in special interest, liveliness, individuality, etc.; insipid; dull:
a bland young man; a bland situation comedy.
6.
unemotional, indifferent, or casual:
his bland acknowledgment of guilt.
Origin of bland
1590-1600
1590-1600; < Latin blandus of a smooth tongue, pleasant, soothing
Related forms
blandly, adverb
blandness, noun
Synonyms
1. affable, mild, amiable; suave, urbane. 2, 3. soft, mild.
Antonyms
1. cruel; boorish. 2. harsh. 3. irritating.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for blandness
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Mr. Prodmores blandness confessed, by its instant increase, to this impeachment.

    The Two Magics Henry James
  • Her blandness was beyond all baiting; she professed she could be as still as a mouse.

    The Tragic Muse Henry James
  • Tavannes raised his eyebrows with a blandness that seemed at odds with his harsh visage.

    Count Hannibal Stanley J. Weyman
  • "Oh, yes, you will," and he smiled with a blandness that was maddening.

    A Little Girl in Old Detroit Amanda Minnie Douglas
  • Then his eyes fell, and his tones changed to blandness once more.

  • Wetter suddenly assumed an air of great dignity and blandness.

    The King's Mirror Anthony Hope
British Dictionary definitions for blandness

bland

/blænd/
adjective
1.
devoid of any distinctive or stimulating characteristics; uninteresting; dull: bland food
2.
gentle and agreeable; suave
3.
(of the weather) mild and soothing
4.
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
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Word Origin and History for blandness

bland

adj.

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
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