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Webster 1913 Edition


Dull

Dull

,
Adj.
[
Com
par.
Duller
;
sup
erl.
Dullest
.]
[AS.
dol
foolish; akin to
gedwelan
to err, D.
dol
mad,
dwalen
to wander, err, G.
toll
mad, Goth.
dwals
foolish, stupid, cf. Gr. [GREEK] turbid, troubled, Skr.
dhvr
to cause to fall. Cf.
Dolt
,
Dwale
,
Dwell
,
Fraud
.]
1.
Slow of understanding; wanting readiness of apprehension; stupid; doltish; blockish.
Dull at classical learning.”
Thackeray.
She is not bred so
dull
but she can learn.
Shakespeare
2.
Slow in action; sluggish; unready; awkward.
This people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are
dull
of hearing.
Matt. xiii. 15.
O, help my weak wit and sharpen my
dull
tongue.
Spenser.
3.
Insensible; unfeeling.
Think me not
So
dull
a devil to forget the loss
Of such a matchless wife.
Beau. & Fl.
4.
Not keen in edge or point; lacking sharpness; blunt.
“Thy scythe is dull.”
Herbert.
5.
Not bright or clear to the eye; wanting in liveliness of color or luster; not vivid; obscure; dim;
as, a
dull
fire or lamp; a
dull
red or yellow; a
dull
mirror.
6.
Heavy; gross; cloggy; insensible; spiritless; lifeless; inert.
“The dull earth.”
Shak.
As turning the logs will make a
dull
fire burn, so changes of study a
dull
brain.
Longfellow.
7.
Furnishing little delight, spirit, or variety; uninteresting; tedious; cheerless; gloomy; melancholy; depressing;
as, a
dull
story or sermon; a
dull
occupation or period
; hence, cloudy; overcast;
as, a
dull
day
.
Syn. – Lifeless; inanimate; dead; stupid; doltish; heavy; sluggish; sleepy; drowsy; gross; cheerless; tedious; irksome; dismal; dreary; clouded; tarnished; obtuse. See
Lifeless
.

Dull

,
Verb.
T.
[
imp. & p. p.
Duller
;
p. pr. & vb. n.
Dulling
.]
1.
To deprive of sharpness of edge or point.
“This . . . dulled their swords.”
Bacon.
Borrowing
dulls
the edge of husbandry.
Shakespeare
2.
To make dull, stupid, or sluggish; to stupefy, as the senses, the feelings, the perceptions, and the like.
Those [drugs] she has
Will stupefy and
dull
the sense a while.
Shakespeare
Use and custom have so
dulled
our eyes.
Trench.
3.
To render dim or obscure; to sully; to tarnish.
Dulls the mirror.”
Bacon.
4.
To deprive of liveliness or activity; to render heavy; to make inert; to depress; to weary; to sadden.
Attention of mind . . . wasted or
dulled
through continuance.
Hooker.

Dull

,
Verb.
I.
To become dull or stupid.
Rom. of R.

Webster 1828 Edition


Dull

DULL

,
Adj.
[G.]
1.
Stupid; doltish; blockish; slow of understanding; as a lad of dull genius.
2.
Heavy; sluggish; without life or spirit; as a surfeit leaves a man very dull.
3.
Slow of motion; sluggish; as a dull stream.
4.
Slow of hearing or seeing; as dull of hearing; dull of seeing.
5.
Slow to learn or comprehend; unready; awkward; as a dull scholar.
6.
Sleepy; drowsy.
7.
Sad; melancholy.
8.
Gross; cloggy; insensible; as the dull earth.
9.
Not pleasing or delightful; not exhilarating; cheerless; as, to make dictionaries is dull work.
10.
Not bright or clear; clouded; tarnished; as, the mirror is dull.
11.
Not bright; not briskly burning; as a dull fire.
12 Dim; obscure; not vivid; as a dull light.
13.
Blunt; obtuse; having a thick edge; as a dull knife or ax.
14.
Cloudy; overcast; not clear; not enlivening; as dull weather.
15.
With seamen, being without wind; as, a ship has a dull time.
16.
Not lively or animated; as a dull eye.

DULL

, v.t.
1.
To make dull; to stupify; as, to dull the senses.
2.
To blunt; as, to dull a sword or an ax.
3.
To make sad or melancholy.
4.
To hebetate; to make insensible or slow to perceive; as, to dull the ears; to dull the wits.
5.
To damp; to render lifeless; as, to dull the attention.
6.
To make heavy or slow of motion; as, to dull industry.
7.
To sully; to tarnish or cloud; as, the breath dulls a mirror.

DULL

,
Verb.
I.
To become dull or blunt; to become stupid.

Definition 2021


dull

dull

English

Alternative forms

Adjective

dull (comparative duller, superlative dullest)

  1. Lacking the ability to cut easily; not sharp.
    All these knives are dull.
  2. Boring; not exciting or interesting.
    He sat through the dull lecture and barely stayed awake.
    When does having a dull personality ever get you a girlfriend? Even if you get one, how does being dull help you keep a relationship for over a year?
  3. Not shiny; having a matte finish or no particular luster or brightness.
    Choose a dull finish to hide fingerprints.
    a dull fire or lamp; a dull red or yellow; a dull mirror
    • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)
      As turning the logs will make a dull fire burn, so changes of study a dull brain.
    • 1915, Mrs. Belloc Lowndes, The Lodger, chapter I:
      A great bargain also had been the excellent Axminster carpet which covered the floor; as, again, the arm-chair in which Bunting now sat forward, staring into the dull, small fire.
  4. Not bright or intelligent; stupid; slow of understanding.
    • William Shakespeare (c.1564–1616)
      She is not bred so dull but she can learn.
    • William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-1863)
      dull at classical learning
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 15, in The China Governess:
      She paused and took a defiant breath. ‘If you don't believe me, I can't help it. But I'm not a liar.’ ¶ ‘No,’ said Luke, grinning at her. ‘You're not dull enough! […] What about the kid's clothes? I don't suppose they were anything to write home about, but didn't you keep anything? A bootee or a bit of embroidery or anything at all?’
  5. Sluggish, listless.
    • Bible, Matthew xiii. 15
      This people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing.
    • Edmund Spenser (c.1552–1599)
      O, help my weak wit and sharpen my dull tongue.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 7, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      [] St. Bede's at this period of its history was perhaps the poorest and most miserable parish in the East End of London. Close-packed, crushed by the buttressed height of the railway viaduct, rendered airless by huge walls of factories, it at once banished lively interest from a stranger's mind and left only a dull oppression of the spirit.
  6. Cloudy, overcast.
    It's a dull day.
  7. Insensible; unfeeling.
    • Beaumont and Fletcher (1603-1625)
      Think me not / So dull a devil to forget the loss / Of such a matchless wife.
  8. Heavy; lifeless; inert.
  9. (of pain etc) Not intense; felt indistinctly or only slightly.
    Pressing on the bruise produces a dull pain.

Synonyms

  • See also Wikisaurus:boring
  • See also Wikisaurus:stupid
  • (not shiny): lackluster, matte

Antonyms

Translations

Verb

dull (third-person singular simple present dulls, present participle dulling, simple past and past participle dulled)

  1. (transitive) To render dull; to remove or blunt an edge or something that was sharp.
    Years of misuse have dulled the tools.
    • Francis Bacon
      This [] dulled their swords.
  2. (transitive) To soften, moderate or blunt; to make dull, stupid, or sluggish; to stupefy.
    He drinks to dull the pain.
    • Shakespeare
      Those [drugs] she has / Will stupefy and dull the sense a while.
    • Trench
      Use and custom have so dulled our eyes.
  3. (intransitive) To lose a sharp edge; to become dull.
    A razor will dull with use.
  4. To render dim or obscure; to sully; to tarnish.
    • Francis Bacon
      dulls the mirror

Synonyms

Translations

References

  • dull in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
  • dull in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911