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See also: Dull


Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English dull, dul (also dyll, dill, dwal), from Old English dol (dull, foolish, erring, heretical; foolish, silly; presumptuous), from Proto-Germanic *dulaz, a variant of *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), West-Flemish dul (angry, furious).



dull (comparative duller, superlative dullest)

  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 or brightness.
    Choose a dull finish to hide fingerprints.
    a dull fire or lamp;  a dull red or yellow;  a dull mirror
  4. Not bright or intelligent; stupid; having slow understanding.
  5. Sluggish, listless.
    • This people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, Faerie Queene
      O, help my weak wit and sharpen my dull tongue.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 7, in 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.
  6. Cloudy, overcast.
    It's a dull day.
  7. Insensible; unfeeling.
  8. Heavy; lifeless; inert.
  9. (of pain etc) Not intense; felt indistinctly or only slightly.
    Pressing on the bruise produces a dull pain.
  10. (of a noise or sound) Not clear, muffled.



Derived terms[edit]


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 Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


dull (third-person singular simple present dulls, present participle dulling, simple past and past participle dulled)

  1. (transitive) To render dull; to remove or blunt an edge or something that was sharp.
    Years of misuse have dulled the tools.
    • 1623, Francis Bacon, A Discourse of a War with Spain
      This [] dulled their swords.
  2. (transitive) To soften, moderate or blunt; to make dull, stupid, or sluggish; to stupefy.
    He drinks to dull the pain.
  3. (intransitive) To lose a sharp edge; to become dull.
    A razor will dull with use.
  4. To render dim or obscure; to sully; to tarnish.







Ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *deyḱ- (to show, point out).[1]



dull m (plural dulliau)

  1. method


Welsh mutation
radical soft nasal aspirate
dull ddull null unchanged
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every
possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.

Further reading[edit]

  • R. J. Thomas, G. A. Bevan, P. J. Donovan, A. Hawke et al., editors (1950–present) , “dull”, in Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru Online (in Welsh), University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh & Celtic Studies


  1. ^ Morris Jones, John (1913) A Welsh Grammar, Historical and Comparative, Oxford: Clarendon Press, § 95 ii 2