bleak

1 [bleek]
adjective, bleaker, bleakest.
1.
bare, desolate, and often windswept: a bleak plain.
2.
cold and piercing; raw: a bleak wind.
3.
without hope or encouragement; depressing; dreary: a bleak future.

Origin:
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.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
bleak1 (bliːk)
 
adj
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]
 
'bleakly1
 
adv
 
'bleakness1
 
n

bleak2 (bliːk)
 
n
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
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

bleak
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
The total inability to project anything into any kind of future adds to the
  bleakness.
But when day follows night, the buzz gives way to bleakness.
The continuing economic bleakness also creates a political problem.
Its startling violence and bleakness set the tone for the rest of the episode.
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