dismal

[diz-muhl]
adjective
1.
causing gloom or dejection; gloomy; dreary; cheerless; melancholy: dismal weather.
2.
characterized by ineptness or lack of skill, competence, effectiveness, imagination, or interest; pitiful: Our team played a dismal game.
3.
Obsolete.
a.
disastrous; calamitous.
b.
unlucky; sinister.
noun
4.
Southern U.S. a tract of swampy land, usually along the coast.

Origin:
1275–1325; Middle English dismale unlucky time, dismol day one of two days in each month considered unlucky (hence later taken as adj.) < Anglo-French dis mal < Medieval Latin diēs malī literally, evil days

dismally, adverb
dismalness, dismality, noun


2. hopeless, abysmal, dreadful.


1. cheerful; gay.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
dismal (ˈdɪzməl)
 
adj
1.  causing gloom or depression
2.  causing dismay or terror
3.  of poor quality or a low standard; feeble
 
[C13: from dismal (noun) list of 24 unlucky days in the year, from Medieval Latin diēs malī bad days, from Latin diēs day + malus bad]
 
'dismally
 
adv
 
'dismalness
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

dismal
c.1400, from Anglo-Fr. dismal, from O.Fr. (li) dis mals "(the) bad days," from M.L. dies mali "evil or unlucky days" (also called dies Ægyptiaci), from L. dies "days" (see diurnal) + mali, pl. of malus "bad" (see mal-). Through the Middle
Ages, calendars marked two days of each month as unlucky, supposedly based on the ancient calculations of Egyptian astrologers. Modern sense of "gloomy, dreary" first recorded in English 1590s, in reference to sounds. Related: Dismally.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
But for her every dismal observation, a jaunty little lamb counters with a
  sunny-side-up perspective.
This is why economics gets known as the dismal science.
Automakers start 2009 with a dismal month.
Minter is looking at a housing collapse to spark a deflationary spiral —
  a dismal period of falling prices.
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