AskDefine | Define dull

Dictionary Definition

dull adj
1 lacking in liveliness or animation; "he was so dull at parties"; "a dull political campaign"; "a large dull impassive man"; "dull days with nothing to do"; "how dull and dreary the world is"; "fell back into one of her dull moods" [ant: lively]
2 emitting or reflecting very little light; "a dull glow"; "dull silver badly in need of a polish"; "a dull sky" [ant: bright]
3 being or made softer or less loud or clear; "the dull boom of distant breaking waves"; "muffled drums"; "the muffled noises of the street"; "muted trumpets" [syn: muffled, muted, softened]
4 so lacking in interest as to cause mental weariness; "a boring evening with uninteresting people"; "the deadening effect of some routine tasks"; "a dull play"; "his competent but dull performance"; "a ho-hum speaker who couldn't capture their attention"; "what an irksome task the writing of long letters is"- Edmund Burke; "tedious days on the train"; "the tiresome chirping of a cricket"- Mark Twain; "other people's dreams are dreadfully wearisome" [syn: boring, deadening, ho-hum, irksome, slow, tedious, tiresome, wearisome]
5 (of color) very low in saturation; highly diluted; "dull greens and blues"
6 not keenly felt; "a dull throbbing"; "dull pain" [ant: sharp]
7 slow to learn or understand; lacking intellectual acuity; "so dense he never understands anything I say to him"; "never met anyone quite so dim"; "although dull at classical learning, at mathematics he was uncommonly quick"- Thackeray; "dumb officials make some really dumb decisions"; "he was either normally stupid or being deliberately obtuse"; "worked with the slow students" [syn: dense, dim, dumb, obtuse, slow]
8 (of business) not active or brisk; "business is dull (or slow)"; "a sluggish market" [syn: slow, sluggish]
9 not having a sharp edge or point; "the knife was too dull to be of any use" [ant: sharp]
10 blunted in responsiveness or sensibility; "a dull gaze"; "so exhausted she was dull to what went on about her"- Willa Cather
11 not clear and resonant; sounding as if striking with or against something relatively soft; "the dull thud"; "thudding bullets" [syn: thudding]
12 darkened with overcast; "a dark day"; "a dull sky"; "a gray rainy afternoon"; "gray clouds"; "the sky was leaden and thick" [syn: gray, grey, leaden]

Verb

1 make dull in appearance; "Age had dulled the surface"
2 become dull or lusterless in appearance; lose shine or brightness; "the varnished table top dulled with time"
3 deaden (a sound or noise), especially by wrapping [syn: muffle, mute, damp, dampen, tone down]
4 make numb or insensitive; "The shock numbed her senses" [syn: numb, benumb, blunt]
5 make dull or blunt; "Too much cutting dulls the knife's edge" [syn: blunt] [ant: sharpen]
6 become less interesting or attractive [syn: pall]
7 make less lively or vigorous; "Middle age dulled her appetite for travel"

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Pronunciation

Adjective

en-adj er
  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.
    Choose a dull finish to hide fingerprints.
  4. Not bright or intelligent.
  5. Sam buying Kelly a book about shoes for her birthday

Translations

Lacking the ability to cut easily; not sharp
  • Czech: tupý
  • Danish: sløv
  • Dutch: bot, stomp
  • Finnish: tylsä
  • French: émoussé, obtus
  • German: stumpf
  • Japanese: (, nibui)
  • Kurdish:
  • Norwegian: sløv
  • Polish: tępy , tępa , tępe
  • Portuguese: cego
  • Swedish: slö
  • Turkish: kör
Boring
  • Danish: kedelig
  • Dutch: saai
  • Finnish: tylsä, pitkäveteinen, pitkästyttävä
  • French: ennuyeux, barbant
  • German: fad, langweilig
  • Japanese: (, taikutsuna)
  • Norwegian: kjedelig
  • Polish: nudny, nudna, nudne
  • Portuguese: entediante
  • Spanish: aburrido
  • Swedish: tråkig
  • Turkish: sıkıcı
Not shiny
  • Danish: mat
  • Dutch: mat
  • Finnish: samea
  • French: mat
  • German: matt
  • Norwegian: matt
  • Polish: matowy , matowa , matowe
  • Spanish: mate
  • Swedish: matt
  • Turkish: mat
Not bright or intelligent
  • Danish: dum
  • Dutch: dom
  • Finnish: hidasjärkinen
  • French: sot
  • German: blöd, blöde, dumm
  • Japanese: (, nibui)
  • Norwegian: dum
  • Polish: tępy , tępa , tępe
  • Spanish: obtuso

Verb

  1. To render dull; to remove or blunt an edge or something that was sharp.
    Years of misuse have dulled the tools.
  2. To soften, moderate or blunt.
    He drinks to dull the pain.
  3. To lose a sharp edge; to become dull.
    A razor will dull with use.

Translations

(transitive) To render dull; to remove or blunt an edge or something that was sharp
  • German: abstumpfen
  • Norwegian: sløve
(transitive) To soften, moderate or blunt
  • German: abstumpfen
(intransitive) To lose a sharp edge; to become dull
  • German: abstumpfen

Extensive Definition

Dull may refer to:
People with the surname Dull:
  • Gladys Dull (born 1918), longest living person with type 1 diabetes
  • Jack Dull (1930-1995), professor at the University of Washington
  • John Dull (21st century), American musician

See also

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

KO, Laodicean, Olympian, Quaker-colored, Spartan, abate, abeyant, abrupt, achromatic, achromatize, achromic, acier, affectless, allay, alleviate, aloof, anemic, anesthetic, anesthetize, anesthetized, apathetic, appease, arctic, arid, ascetic, ashen, ashy, asleep, assuage, asthenic, attemper, attenuate, austere, autistic, backward, bad, baffle, bald, banausic, bank the fire, bare, barren, bate, bated, becloud, bedaze, bedim, beef-witted, befog, benumb, benumbed, besot, betwixt and between, blah, blanch, blank, blase, bleach, blear, blear-witted, bled white, blind, bloodless, blue, bluff, blunt, blunt-edged, blunt-ended, blunt-pointed, blunt-witted, blunted, bluntish, blur, blurry, bored, boring, bovine, brainless, broken-record, bromidic, cadaverous, callous, candid, canescent, cast down, cataleptic, catatonic, characterless, chasten, chicken, chill, chilly, chloranemic, chloroform, cinereous, cinerous, cloddish, cloud, clouded, cloudy, cold, cold as charity, cold-blooded, coldcock, coldhearted, colorless, comatose, common, commonplace, constrain, control, cool, cowardly, cramp, crass, cripple, cushion, damp, damped, dampen, dampened, dapple, dapple-gray, dappled, dappled-gray, dark, darken, de-emphasize, dead, deaden, deaden the pain, deadened, deadly pale, deafen, deathly pale, debilitate, debilitated, decolor, decolorize, dejected, dense, depressed, depressing, desensitize, desensitized, detached, devitalize, dim, dim-witted, diminish, dimmed, dingy, direct, discolor, discolored, disedge, disinterested, dismal, dispassionate, dispirited, doltish, dope, dopey, dormant, dove-colored, dove-gray, down, downhearted, downplay, drab, draggy, drain, drain of color, draw the teeth, drearisome, dreary, drooping, droopy, drug, drugged, dry, dryasdust, dull of mind, dull-edged, dull-headed, dull-pated, dull-pointed, dull-witted, dulled, dullish, dumb, dun, duncical, dusty, earthbound, ease, ease matters, edgeless, effete, elephantine, emotionally dead, emotionless, empty, enervate, enervated, enfeeble, etherize, etiolate, etiolated, even-tempered, everlasting, eviscerate, exanimate, exhaust, exhausting, exsanguinated, exsanguine, exsanguineous, extenuate, fade, faded, fagging, faint, faintish, fair, fair to middling, faired, fairish, fallow, fat-witted, fatiguing, feeble, feebleminded, flabby, flaccid, flat, floppy, foment, foul, frank, freeze, frigid, frosted, frosty, frozen, fume, ghastly, give relief, glaucescent, glaucous, gloomy, gone, gray, gray-black, gray-brown, gray-colored, gray-drab, gray-green, gray-spotted, gray-toned, gray-white, grayed, grayish, grey, griseous, grizzle, grizzled, grizzly, groggy, gross-headed, gruel, gutless, haggard, half-witted, hard, hardened, harping, hazy, heartless, heavy, hebetate, hebetudinous, ho-hum, hollow, homely, homespun, hopeless, hueless, humdrum, hypochromic, icy, imbecile, immovable, impassible, impassive, imperceptive, impercipient, imperturbable, impotent, in a stupor, in abeyance, in suspense, inactive, inane, inanimate, indifferent, indistinct, inert, inexcitable, infecund, infertile, inirritable, insensate, insensible, insensitive, insentient, insipid, insouciant, insusceptible, inured, invariable, irksome, iron-gray, jaded, jejune, jog-trot, kayo, keep within bounds, knock out, knock senseless, knock stiff, knock unconscious, lackadaisical, lackluster, languid, languorous, latent, lay, lay low, lay out, lead-gray, leaden, lean, lenify, lessen, lethargic, lifeless, lighten, limber, limp, listless, literal, livid, logy, long-winded, low-spirited, lowering, lull, lumpish, lurid, lusterless, lustless, marrowless, mat, matter-of-fact, mealy, mediocre, medium, middling, mitigate, moderate, modest, modulate, mollify, monotone, monotonous, moribund, moronic, mouse-colored, mouse-gray, mousy, muddy, muffle, muffled, mull, mundane, murky, mute, muted, namby-pamby, narcotize, natural, neat, nerveless, neutral, nonchalant, nonemotional, nubilous, numb, numbed, numbing, numskulled, obdurate, objective, obscure, obtund, obtundent, obtuse, of a kind, of a sort, of sorts, opaque, open, ordinary, out of touch, overcast, overclouded, pad, pale, pale as death, pale-faced, palliate, pallid, palsy, paralyze, passable, passionless, passive, pasty, patient, pearl, pearl-gray, pearly, pedestrian, peroxide, phlegmatic, pithless, plain, plain-speaking, plain-spoken, play down, plodding, pluckless, poetryless, pointless, poky, ponderous, pooped, poultice, pour balm into, pour oil on, powerless, prolix, prosaic, prosing, prosy, pure, put to sleep, rattle, reduce, reduce the temperature, relieve, repress, resigned, respectable, restrain, retard, retund, rocky, rounded, rubbery, rustic, sad, sallow, salve, sap, sapless, sated, sedentary, self-absorbed, severe, shake, shake up, sickly, silver, silver-gray, silvered, silvery, simple, simple-speaking, simpleminded, sinewless, singsong, slack, slacken, slake, slate-colored, slaty, sleeping, sleepy, slow, slow down, slow-witted, sluggish, slumbering, smoke-gray, smoky, smoldering, smoothed, smother, smothered, so-so, sober, sober down, soft, soft-pedal, soften, soften up, softened, solemn, somber, somnolent, soothe, soporific, sordo, soulless, spare, spineless, spiritless, spunkless, stagnant, stagnating, staid, standing, stark, static, steady, steel-gray, steely, sterile, stiff, stifle, stifled, stodgy, stoic, stolid, stone-colored, stop, straightforward, strengthless, stuffy, stultified, stun, stupe, stupefied, stupefy, stupid, subdue, subdued, subfusc, sunless, superficial, supine, suppress, suspended, tallow-faced, tame, tarnish, tasteless, taupe, tedious, temper, thick, thick-brained, thick-headed, thick-pated, thick-skinned, thick-witted, thickskulled, tiresome, tiring, tolerable, tone down, toneless, torpid, treadmill, tune down, turn, unadorned, unaffected, unaffectionate, unaroused, unbrace, uncaring, uncolored, unconcerned, undermine, underplay, undisturbable, unedged, unembellished, unemotional, uneventful, unfanciful, unfeeling, unfelt, unflappable, unhardened, unideal, unidealistic, unimaginative, unimpassioned, unimpressionable, uninspired, uninterested, uninteresting, uninventive, unirritable, unlively, unloving, unman, unnerve, unnerved, unnervous, unoriginal, unpassionate, unperceptive, unpoetic, unpoetical, unpointed, unresponding, unresponsive, unromantic, unromanticized, unsharp, unsharpened, unstrengthen, unstring, unstrung, unsusceptible, unsympathetic, untouchable, unvarnished, unvarying, vapid, vegetable, vegetative, wan, wash out, washed-out, waxen, weak, weaken, weakly, weariful, wearisome, weary, whey-faced, white, whiten, wishy-washy, withdrawn, wooden, world-weary
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