Definitions

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

  • adj. Gloomy and somber: "Life in the Aran Islands has always been bleak and difficult” ( John Millington Synge).
  • adj. Providing no encouragement; depressing: a bleak prospect.
  • adj. Cold and cutting; raw: bleak winds of the North Atlantic.
  • adj. Exposed to the elements; unsheltered and barren: the bleak, treeless regions of the high Andes.
  • n. A small European freshwater fish of the genus Alburnus that is related to the carp and has silvery scales used in the manufacture of artificial pearls.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Without color; pale; pallid.
  • adj. Desolate and exposed; swept by cold winds.
  • adj. Unhappy; cheerless; miserable.
  • n. A small European river fish (Alburnus alburnus), of the family Cyprinidae.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Without color; pale; pallid.
  • adj. Desolate and exposed; swept by cold winds.
  • adj. Cold and cutting; cheerless.
  • n. A small European river fish (Leuciscus alburnus), of the family Cyprinidæ; the blay.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Pale; pallid; wan; of a sickly hue.
  • Exposed to cold and winds; desolate; bare of vegetation.
  • Cheerless; dreary.
  • Cold; chill; piercing; desolating.
  • To make white or pale; bleach.
  • To become white or pale.
  • To blacken; darken.
  • n. An English name of a small cyprinoid fish, Alburnus lucidus. Other forms of the name are bleik, blick. Also called blay.

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

  • adj. offering little or no hope
  • adj. unpleasantly cold and damp
  • adj. providing no shelter or sustenance

Etymologies

Middle English bleik, pale, from Old Norse bleikr, white.
Middle English bleke, probably alteration (influenced by bleke, pale) of *blay, from Old English blǣge.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English bleke (also bleche > English bleach ("pale, bleak")), and bleike (due to Old Norse), and earlier Middle English blak, blac ("pale, wan"), from Old English blǣc, blǣċ, blāc ("bleak, pale, pallid, wan, livid; bright, shining, glittering, flashing") and Old Norse bleikr ("pale, whitish"), from Proto-Germanic *blaikaz (“pale, shining”), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰlē-, *bʰel- (“to shine”). Cognate with Dutch bleek ("pale, wan, pallid"), Low German blek ("pale"), German bleich ("pale, wan, sallow"), Danish bleg ("pale"), Swedish blek ("pale, pallid"), Faroese bleikur ("pale"), Icelandic bleikur ("pale, pink"). (Wiktionary)
Probably from Old Norse bleikja. (Wiktionary)

Examples

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • 'Trostlos', 'Karg', 'Düster' TOP 5 BASIC

    S: AUSTERE, Gloomy, Cold, Hopeless, Exposed, Pale

    A: Bright, Cheerful, Happy, Warm, Sympathetic, Friendly

    ** --> Bleich de.

    October 25, 2013

  • It's a fish.
    Guanine extracted from the scales is used in the manufacture of artificial pearls.

    January 2, 2012

  • Read backwards, they could also be the statement 'fish despair'.

    January 22, 2009

  • I love the tags on this page. They could both be verbs, and hence commands.

    January 22, 2009

  • WeirdNet has let me down: it doesn't know about the fish called a bleak at all.

    January 22, 2009