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See also: Lull



From Middle English lullen, lollen. Cognate with Scots lul, lule, loll (to lull, put to sleep, howl, caterwaul), Dutch lollen (to sing badly, caterwaul), Dutch lullen (to chatter, prate, cheat, deceive), Low German lullen (to lull), German lullen (to lull), Danish lulle (to lull, sing to sleep), Swedish lulla (to lull), Icelandic lulla (to lull). Originally, perhaps expressive in origin from la-la-la or lu-lu-lu sounds made in calming a child.


  • IPA(key): /lʌl/
    • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ʌl


lull (plural lulls)

  1. A period of rest or soothing.
  2. A period of reduced activity; a respite
  3. (nautical) A period without waves or wind.
    • 1839, The Nautical Magazine and Naval Chronicle for 1839, p. 26:
      […] during the lull, wind shifted to S. E. […]
    • 1875, W. G. Wilson, Report of the Midnapore and Burdwan Cyclone of the 15th and 16th of October 1874, p. 74:
      After the lull the wind does not appear to have blown with any great strength […]
    • 2016, David Houghton and Fiona Campbell, Wind Strategy, not paginated
      The air under each cloud has spent time near the surface, has been slowed and backed by friction—it is a lull.
  4. (surfing) An extended pause between sets of waves.
    • 1992, John Warlaumont, The Noaa Diving Manual, p. 19-19
      It is advisable to leave the surf zone during the lull between sets of larger waves, waiting outside the surf zone for a lull.
    • forum (password needed)
      About 2 hours in, a long lull cleared everyone out, and then it started getting a little more consistent and pushing chest ta neck high.



Holding in one's arms is a common technique to lull into sleep.

lull (third-person singular simple present lulls, present participle lulling, simple past and past participle lulled)

  1. (transitive) To cause to rest by soothing influences; to compose; to calm
    Synonyms: soothe, quiet
    • (Can we date this quote by Spenser and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?)
      to lull him soft asleep
    • 1634, John Milton, “Arcades”, in Poems of Mr. John Milton, [] , London: Printed by Ruth Raworth for Humphrey Moſely,  [], published 1645, OCLC 606951673, page 54:
      Such ſweet compulſion doth in muſick ly, / To lull the daughers of Neceſſity,
  2. (intransitive) To become gradually calm; to subside; to cease or abate.
    The storm lulled.

Derived terms[edit]