Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Characterized by a moderate, unperturbed, or tranquil quality, especially:
  • adj. Pleasant in manner; smooth: a bland smile.
  • adj. Not irritating or stimulating; soothing: a bland diet.
  • adj. Exhibiting no personal worry, embarrassment, or concern: told a series of bland lies.
  • adj. Dull and insipid: a bland little drama.
  • adj. Having little or no distinctive flavor: bland cooking.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Mild; soft, gentle, balmy; smooth in manner; suave.
  • adj. Having a soothing effect; not irritating or stimulating.
  • adj. Lacking in taste or vigor.
  • n. Mixture; union.
  • n. An agreeable summer beverage prepared from the whey of churned milk, common among the inhabitants of the Shetland Islands.
  • v. To mix; blend; mingle.
  • v. To connect; associate.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Mild; soft; gentle; smooth and soothing in manner; suave.
  • adj. Having soft and soothing qualities; not drastic or irritating; not stimulating.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To mix; blend.
  • Mild; soft; gentle; balmy.
  • Affable; suave; soothing; kindly: as, “bland words,”
  • Mild; free from irritating qualities: said of certain medicines: as, bland oils.
  • Not stimulating: said of food.
  • To flatter; blandish.
  • n. Mixture; union.
  • n. An agreeable summer beverage prepared from the whey of churned milk, common among the inhabitants of the Shetland islands.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. lacking taste or flavor or tang
  • adj. smoothly agreeable and courteous with a degree of sophistication
  • adj. lacking stimulating characteristics; uninteresting

Etymologies

Latin blandus, caressing, flattering; see mel-1 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English blanden, blonden, from Old English blandan ("to blend, mix, mingle; trouble, disturb, corrupt"), from Proto-Germanic *blandanan (“to mix, blend”), from Proto-Indo-European *bhlendh- (“to grow turbid, dim, see badly, be blind”). Cognate with Danish and Norwegian blande, Swedish blanda ("to mix, mingle, shuffle, blend"), Icelandic blanda ("to mix"). See also blend. (Wiktionary)
From Middle English bland, from Old English bland, blond ("blending, mixture, confusion"), from Proto-Germanic *blandan (“a mixing, mixture”), from Proto-Indo-European *bhlendh- (“to grow turbid, dim, see badly, be blind”). Cognate with Icelandic blanda ("a mixture of liquids, especially of hot whey and water"). (Wiktionary)
Ultimately from Latin blandus ("pleasant, flattering"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Natalie carefully kept her expression bland, though her stomach clenched at the words.

    Saving Grace

  • “There are some questions I wanted to ask her, not being invited to attend the postmortem …” He kept his expression bland, standing on his dignity.

    A Share in Death

  • She kept her gaze level and her expression bland, but her teeth were gritted.

    Silver Wings, Santiago Blue

  • The Japanese love "subtle" flavors (what I call bland).

    CHE > Latest news

  • I do think that "bland" is NOT the way to go, not in an age of unparalleled consumer choice.

    Medieval Fallout III and Judging Books by Their Covers IV

  • Even as American officers talk publicly in bland clichés about partnering with and improving the performance of the Karzai government, the grim reality of Afghan public life is distinguished by corruption, criminality, and poverty.

    Man Versus Afghanistan

  • Almost always frijol negro and usually as a thin bland soup.

    Musical fruit

  • No, he'd like to teach the world chant in bland monotony, he'd like to put a bloody end to Christianity.

    Sound Politics: Pressure on Democrats Building

  • Valentine turned to watch Aldertree with an expression of bland interest as the Inquisitor staggered, collided with a pillar, and sprawled awkwardly to the ground.

    City of Glass

  • In this simple soup, however, bland is the descriptive word -- though not unpleasantly bland.

    Archive 2005-11-01

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Comments

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  • JM reckons TV is the bland leading the bland

    August 26, 2011

  • Ghost town in the Jemez Mountains of New Mexico. Also Bland Canyon that is somewhat grand.
    Blando &
    Bland Canyon

    February 20, 2011