dull
Pronunciation
  • IPA: /dʌl/
    • (Canada) IPA: /dʌl/, /dəl/, /dəɫ/
  • (America)

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
    • As turning the logs will make a dull fire burn, so changes of study a dull brain.
    • 1913, Mrs. [Marie] Belloc Lowndes, chapter I, in The Lodger, London: Methuen, OCLC 7780546 ↗; republished in Novels of Mystery: The Lodger; The Story of Ivy; What Really Happened, New York, N.Y.: Longmans, Green and Co., […], [1933], OCLC 2666860 ↗, page 0016 ↗:
      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; having slow understanding.
    • c. 1596–1598, William Shakespeare, “The Merchant of Venice”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act III, scene ii]:
      She is not bred so dull but she can learn.
    • dull at classical learning
  5. Sluggish, listless.
    • Bible, Gospel of Matthew xiii. 15
      This people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing.
    • O, help my weak wit and sharpen my dull tongue.
  6. Cloudy, overcast.
    It's a dull day.
  7. Insensible; unfeeling.
    • (Can we date this quote?), Francis Beaumont; John Fletcher, “The Knight of Malta”, in Comedies and Tragedies […], London: Printed for Humphrey Robinson, […], and for Humphrey Moseley […], published 1647, OCLC 3083972 ↗, Act 5, scene 2:
      Think me not / So dull a devil to forget the loss / Of such a matchless wife.
  8. Heavy; lifeless; inert.
    • c. 1590–1591, William Shakespeare, “The Two Gentlemen of Verona”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act IV, scene ii]:
      the dull earth
    • As turning the logs will make a dull fire burn, so changes of study a dull brain.
  9. (of pain etc) Not intense; felt indistinctly or only slightly.
    Pressing on the bruise produces a dull pain.
  10. (of a noise or sound) Not clear, muffled.
Synonyms Antonyms Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations
Verb

dull (dulls, present participle dulling; 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.
    • 1623, Francis Bacon, A Discourse of a War with Spain
      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.
    • 1611 April (first recorded performance), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Cymbeline”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act I, scene vi]:
      Those [drugs] she has / Will stupefy and dull the sense a while.
    • 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.
Synonyms Translations Translations Translations
  • French: émousser, user
  • German: abstumpfen
  • Portuguese: desafiar
  • Russian: затупля́ться
  • Spanish: redondear

Dull
Proper noun
  1. Surname



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