Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search



Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English bleke (also bleche > English bleach (pale, bleak)), and bleike (due to Old Norse), and earlier Middle English blak, blac (pale, wan), from Old English blǣc, blǣċ, blāc (bleak, pale, pallid, wan, livid; bright, shining, glittering, flashing) and Old Norse bleikr (pale, whitish)[1], from Proto-Germanic *blaikaz (pale, shining), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰlē-, *bʰel- (to shine). Cognate with Dutch bleek (pale, wan, pallid), Low German blek (pale), German bleich (pale, wan, sallow), Danish bleg (pale), Swedish blek (pale, pallid), Faroese bleikur (pale), Icelandic bleikur (pale, pink).


bleak (comparative bleaker, superlative bleakest)

  1. Without color; pale; pallid.
    • Foxe
      When she came out she looked as pale and as bleak as one that were laid out dead.
  2. Desolate and exposed; swept by cold winds.
    • Wordsworth
      Wastes too bleak to rear / The common growth of earth, the foodful ear.
    • Longfellow
      at daybreak, on the bleak sea beach
  3. Unhappy; cheerless; miserable; emotionally desolate.
    Downtown Albany felt bleak that February after the divorce.
    A bleak future is in store for you.
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Etymology 2[edit]

Probably from Old Norse bleikja.


bleak (plural bleaks)

Wikipedia has an article on:


  1. A small European river fish (Alburnus alburnus), of the family Cyprinidae.


  1. ^ bleak” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary (2001).


et:bleak el:bleak es:bleak fa:bleak fr:bleak ko:bleak hy:bleak io:bleak it:bleak kn:bleak ku:bleak lb:bleak hu:bleak mg:bleak ml:bleak my:bleak ja:bleak pl:bleak ru:bleak fi:bleak ta:bleak te:bleak vi:bleak zh:bleak