What is it about bleakness and tedium that are so attractive, other than the fact that most people instinctively recoil from it?
The beauty of this image and the bleakness of its meaning hang suspended in perfect balance.
Outside, on the bleakness of the avenue where the president lives, Washington looked anything but normal.
c.1300, "pale," from Old Norse bleikr "pale, whitish, blond," from Proto-Germanic *blaika- "shining, white," from PIE root *bhel- (1) "to shine, flash, burn" (see bleach (v.)). Later "bare, windswept" (1530s). Sense of "cheerless" is c.1719 figurative extension. The same Germanic root produced Old English blac "pale," but this died out, probably from confusion with blæc "black;" however bleak persisted, with a sense of "bare" as well as "pale."