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dreary

[dreer-ee] /ˈdrɪər i/
adjective, drearier, dreariest.
1.
causing sadness or gloom.
2.
dull; boring.
3.
sorrowful; sad.
Origin of dreary
900
before 900; Middle English drery, Old English drēorig gory, cruel, sad, equivalent to drēor gore + -ig -y1; akin to Old Norse dreyrigr bloody, German traurig sad
Related forms
drearily, adverb
dreariness, noun
drearisome, adjective
Synonyms
1. gloomy, dismal, drear, cheerless, depressing, comfortless. 2. tedious, monotonous, wearisome, tiresome.
Antonyms
1. cheerful. 2. interesting.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for dreary
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Tientsin is a dreary place in a salt plain, and the climate is very cold, as it is throughout North China.

    The Red Book of Heroes Leonora Blanche Lang
  • He found the district to the north to be a dreary waste, destitute of food and water.

  • There were more pigeons about the dreary stable-yard and outbuildings than anybody but the landlord could reckon up.

    Dickensian Inns & Taverns B. W. (Bertram Waldrom) Matz
  • There was the dreary monotone of crushed hope in Porter's voice as he spoke.

    Thoroughbreds W. A. Fraser
  • Her life seemed to have been so without point, so useless heretofore; and all that could yet be, how useless and dreary it looked!

    Cloudy Jewel Grace Livingston Hill
British Dictionary definitions for dreary

dreary

/ˈdrɪərɪ/
adjective drearier, dreariest
1.
sad or dull; dismal
2.
wearying; boring
3.
(archaic) miserable
Also (literary) drear
Derived Forms
drearily, adverb
dreariness, noun
Word Origin
Old English drēorig gory; related to Old High German trūreg sad
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 dreary
adj.

Old English dreorig "sad, sorrowful," originally "cruel, bloody, blood-stained," from dreor "gore, blood," from (ge)dreosan (past participle droren) "fall, decline, fail," from West Germanic *dreuzas (cf. Old Norse dreyrigr "gory, bloody," and more remotely, German traurig "sad, sorrowful"), from PIE root *dhreu- "to fall, flow, drip, droop" (see drip (v.)).

The word has lost its original sense of "dripping blood." Sense of "dismal, gloomy" first recorded 1667 in "Paradise Lost," but Old English had a related verb drysmian "become gloomy."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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