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[huhm-druhm] /ˈhʌmˌdrʌm/
lacking variety; boring; dull:
a humdrum existence.
humdrum character or routine; monotony.
monotonous or tedious talk.
Archaic. a dull, boring person.
Origin of humdrum
1545-55; earlier humtrum, rhyming compound based on hum
Related forms
humdrumness, noun
1. tedious, routine, mundane, tiresome. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for hum-drum
Historical Examples
  • To anybody of a hum-drum life—such as mine had always been until these events—it was, indeed, a stirring story.

    Ravensdene Court J. S. (Joseph Smith) Fletcher
  • Why didn't you say, 'You make life too hum-drum, too commonplace for him.

    A Widow's Tale and Other Stories Mrs. (Margaret) Oliphant
  • Then he went back to the West and tried the hum-drum life of a farmer and ranchman.

    The Adventures of Buffalo Bill Col. William F. Cody
  • For years England has been saddled with cabinets composed of professional humorists and hum-drum moralists.

    Psycho-Phone Messages Francis Grierson
  • An up-to-date emancipated woman could hardly be expected to subject herself to that kind of hum-drum strain, in any case.

    Heart and Soul Victor Mapes (AKA Maveric Post)
  • It afforded an agreeable bit of relaxation in the midst of the hum-drum monotony of sea life.

  • hum-drum and Kopy-Keck applied themselves to their physics and metaphysics; but in vain.

  • A strange, new sensation is a rare thing in this hum-drum life, and I had it here.

    The Innocents Abroad Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
  • My weariness of this hum-drum, work-a-day life has grown so heavy it is like to crush me.

    Alaska Days with John Muir Samuel Hall Young
  • It is the uncertainties we want to train our lads to face, as well as the hum-drum certainties of this life.

    Under the Chinese Dragon F. S. Brereton
British Dictionary definitions for hum-drum


ordinary; dull
a monotonous routine, task, or person
Derived Forms
humdrumness, noun
Word Origin
C16: rhyming compound, probably based on hum
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 hum-drum

also humdrum, "routine, monotonous," 1550s, probably a reduplication of hum.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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