English [ edit ]
Alternative forms [ edit ]
Etymology [ edit ]
Middle English , dull (also dul , dyll , dill ), from dwal Old English ( dol “ dull, foolish, erring, heretical; foolish, silly; presumptuous ”), from Proto-Germanic , a variant of *dulaz ( *dwalaz “ stunned, mad, foolish, misled ”), from Proto-Indo-European , *dʰwel- ( *dʰewel- “ to dim, dull, cloud, make obscure, swirl, whirl ”). Cognate with Scots , dull ( doll “ slow to understand or hear, deaf, dull ”), North Frisian ( dol “ rash, unthinking, giddy, flippant ”), Dutch ( dol “ crazy, mad, insane ”), Low German , dul ( dol “ mad, silly, stupid, fatuous ”), German ( toll “ crazy, mad, wild, fantastic ”), Danish ( dval “ foolish, absurd ”), Icelandic ( dulur “ secretive, silent ”).
Pronunciation [ edit ]
Adjective [ edit ]
dull ( comparative , duller superlative ) dullest
Lacking the ability to
cut easily; not sharp.
All these knives are dull.
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? 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 Not
bright or intelligent; stupid; slow of understanding.
She is not bred so
dull but she can learn. Thackeray
dull at classical learning
: 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 15, The China Governess 
‘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?’
Bible, Matthew xiii. 15
This people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are
dull of hearing. Spenser
O, help my weak wit and sharpen my
: 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 7, 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.
It's a dull day. Insensible;
Beaumont and Fletcher
Think me not / So
dull a devil to forget the loss / Of such a matchless wife.
Heavy; lifeless; inert.
dull earth Longfellow
As turning the logs will make a dull fire burn, so changes of study a
Synonyms [ edit ]
Antonyms [ edit ]
Translations [ edit ]
lacking the ability to cut easily; not sharp
not bright or intelligent
ottuso , (it) tardo (it) m Japanese:
鈍い ( (ja) にぶい, nibui), 鈍い ( (ja) のろい, noroi) Latin:
, brutus , fatuus , idiōta stultus Maori:
dum (no) Polish:
tępy (pl) , m tępa , f tępe n Portuguese:
estúpido , (pt) fátuo , (pt) imbecil , (pt) idiota (pt) Russian:
тупо́й ( (ru) tupój), глу́пый ( (ru) glúpyj) Spanish:
obtuso , (es) corto (es) , m limitado (es) m Swedish:
oskarp , (sv) trög (sv)
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.
Translations to be checked
dull ( third-person singular simple present , dulls present participle , dulling simple past and past participle ) dulled
( transitive ) To render dull; to remove or blunt an edge or something that was sharp.
Years of misuse have dulled the tools.
[… ] dulled their swords.
( transitive ) To soften, moderate or blunt; to make dull, stupid, or sluggish; to stupefy.
He drinks to dull the pain.
Those [drugs] she has / Will stupefy and
dull the sense a while. Trench
Use and custom have so
dulled our eyes.
( intransitive ) To lose a sharp edge; to become dull.
A razor will dull with use. To render dim or obscure; to sully; to tarnish.
dulls the mirror
Translations [ edit ]
to soften, moderate or blunt
External links [ edit ]