American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adj. Dismal; bleak.
- adj. Boring; dull: dreary tasks.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Sorrowful; sad.
- Lonesomely dismal or gloomy; exciting a feeling of desolation, sadness, or gloom.
- Hence Exciting a feeling of tedium or ennui; tiresomely monotonous: as, a dreary book.
- Synonyms and Cheerless, comfortless, drear, dark. Tedious.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. obsolete Sorrowful; distressful.
- adj. Exciting cheerless sensations, feelings, or associations; comfortless; dismal; gloomy.
- adj. causing dejection
- adj. lacking in liveliness or charm or surprise
- 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"), German traurig ("sad, sorrowful, mournful"), Old Norse dreyrigr ("bloody"). Related to Old English drēor ("blood, falling blood"), Old English drysmian ("to become gloomy"). (Wiktionary)
- Middle English dreri, bloody, frightened, sad, from Old English drēorig, bloody, sad, from drēor, gore; see dhreu- in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“He called to tell me he had decided that he would rather begin his stay at the clinic in Switzerland and attend the music conservatory during the holidays than remain at the Clairborne mansion for what he called another dreary Christmas.”
“It was the reward he had promised her for what he called her dreary, mechanical job of copying and copying.”
“It is what I call a dreary, dismal-looking town," said Miles to”
“Her use of the word "dreary" is a clever utilization of a subjective adjective (and a very Wordsworthian one).”
“When we were packing up to leave last week I had occasion to re-fondle the Fyberspates yarn in dreary olive green which I had laid out to take to Alyth to donate to charity.”
“The restaurant and night-life industry may be buzzing downtown, but some of the biggest fireworks take place in dreary meeting rooms where tempers flare, tears are shed and the back and forth can stretch on for up to eight hours.”
“After a few months in dreary England, Alfred Tayler went to the Empire Exhibition and was seduced by the thought of farming in Southern Rhodesia.”
“All things considered, it could be worse, but all of the grey and the dreary is sort of sapping my motivation.”
“Boston has had a fair share of cold, rainy and just plain dreary weather over the last couple of months.”
“Right now, we're in dreary Ohio but we're originally from New Jersey.”
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