From Middle English drery, from Old English drēoriġ (“dreary, sad, sorrowful, mournful, pensive, causing grief, cruel, horrid, grievous, bloody, blood-stained, gory, glorious”), from Proto-Germanic *dreuzagaz (“bloody”), from Proto-Indo-European *dʰreus- (“to break, break off, crumble”). Cognate with Dutch treurig (“sad, gloomy”), Low German trurig (“sad”), German traurig (“sad, sorrowful, mournful”), Old Norse dreyrigr (“bloody”). Related to Old English drēor (“blood, falling blood”), Old English drysmian (“to become gloomy”).
- Drab; dark, colorless, or cheerless.
- It had rained for three days straight, and the dreary weather dragged the townspeople's spirits down.
- Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary...
- (obsolete) Grievous, dire; appalling.