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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).



dreary ‎(comparative drearier or more dreary, superlative dreariest or most dreary)

  1. (obsolete) Grievous, dire; appalling.
  2. 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...
    • 1818, Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, Volume 1, Chapter V:
      It was on a dreary night of November, that I beheld the accomplishment of my toils.