1 [bleek]
adjective, bleaker, bleakest.
bare, desolate, and often windswept: a bleak plain.
cold and piercing; raw: a bleak wind.
without hope or encouragement; depressing; dreary: a bleak future.

1300–50; Middle English bleke pale, blend of variants bleche (Old English blǣc) and blake (Old English blāc); both cognate with Old Norse bleikr, German bleich; akin to bleach

bleakish, adjective
bleakly, adverb
bleakness, noun

3. See austere. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
bleak1 (bliːk)
1.  exposed and barren; desolate
2.  cold and raw
3.  offering little hope or excitement; dismal: a bleak future
[Old English blāc bright, pale; related to Old Norse bleikr white, Old High German bleih pale]

bleak2 (bliːk)
any slender silvery European cyprinid fish of the genus Alburnus, esp A. lucidus, occurring in slow-flowing rivers
[C15: probably from Old Norse bleikja white colour; related to Old High German bleichebleach]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1300, from O.N. bleikr "pale," from P.Gmc. *blaika- "shining, white," from PIE base *bhel- (1) "to shine, flash, burn" (see bleach). Sense of "cheerless" is c.1719 figurative extension. The same Germanic root produced O.E. blac "pale," but this died out, probably from confusion
with blæc "black;" but bleikr persisted, with a sense of "bare" as well as "pale." Related: Bleakness (c.1600).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
It's tempting to think of this bleakly nihilistic film as an expression of its creator's weariness with his own ideas.
Anthropomorphism, as it is bleakly known, was decreed to be free of health risks.
The rest are now divided between the bleakly resigned and the frankly terrified.
With winter bleakly settling upon the lonely north woods, it's the expression of neighborliness that's important.
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