Definitions

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

  • adj. Lacking variety or excitement; dull. See Synonyms at boring, dull.
  • n. Monotonous talk or routine.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Lacking variety or excitement; dull; boring.
  • n. The quality of lacking variety or excitement; dullness.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Monotonous; dull; commonplace.
  • n. A dull fellow; a bore.
  • n. Monotonous and tedious routine.
  • n. A low cart with three wheels, drawn by one horse.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Dull; commonplace; homely; tedious.
  • n. A droning tone of voice; monotonous or tedious talk.
  • n. Monotony; tediousness; ennui.
  • n. A dull, tedious fellow; a bore.
  • n. A small, low three-wheeled cart, drawn usually by one horse.
  • To pass the time in a dull manner.

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

  • adj. not challenging; dull and lacking excitement
  • n. the quality of wearisome constancy, routine, and lack of variety
  • adj. tediously repetitious or lacking in variety

Etymologies

Probably from hum.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • He is never what we call humdrum; never unwilling to begin to talk, nor in haste to leave off. '

    The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides with Samuel Johnson, LL.D.

  • He is never what we call humdrum; never unwilling to begin to talk, nor in haste to leave off.’

    Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides

  • Trinitytide which is symbolical of what one might call the humdrum of religious life, the day in day out sticking to it, make a resolution never to say mechanically _The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with us all evermore.

    The Altar Steps

  • The homiletic magazines omitted idealism and imagination; but perhaps those qualities are so common in what some people are pleased to call our humdrum modern business life that they were taken for granted.

    The Rules of the Game

  • We do not desire a system of education which picks out for promotion minds gifted with certain kinds of capacity and stimulates them with the offer of material rewards, while the so-called humdrum remainder are left, with their latent talents undiscovered and undeveloped.

    Progress and History

  • Thus uncle and niece glided imperceptibly into that mode of life which is called humdrum, and which some wise people consider the best mode of getting through existence.

    The Grey Lady

  • According to the paper, there is talk that Scolari will earn about R145 000 per shift, while the likely lads more used to calling humdrum PSL action earn between R3 000 and R5 000.

    News24 Top Stories

  • The going through other people's dreams thing is starting to get a little tired Paprika, etc and I haven't even gotten to the part with dreams--it's just kind of humdrum and bleh and I am bored to tears.

    Currently reading, iteration the second

  • Judt may call this project "humdrum" but I see it as the only way forward.

    'Supercapitalism': An Exchange

  • Second: Amid the vertigo-inducing swing of telecom and tech stocks at the cusp of this century, a certain "humdrum" investor, Berkshire Hathaway sage Warren Buffett maintained his plays in such bland sectors as insulation, carpeting and mobile homes via acquisitions like Johns Manville, Shaw Industries and Clayton Homes, respectively.

    Barrick Gold Alum Thompson Joins Rinker Group

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  • "Gulls churr: ululu, ululu. Ducks cluck. Bulls plus bucks run thru buckbrush; thus dun burrs clutch fur tufts. Ursus cubs plus Lupus pups hunt skunks. Curs skulk (such mutts lurk: ruff, ruff). Gnus munch kudzu. Lush shrubs bud; thus church nuns pluck uncut mums. Bugs hum: buzz, buzz. Dull susurrus gusts murmur hushful, humdrum murmurs: hush, hush. Dusk suns blush. Surf lulls us. Such scuds hurl up cumulus suds (Sturm und Druck) - furls unfurl: rush, rush; curls uncurl: gush, gush. Such tumult upturns unsunk hulls; thus gulfs crush us, gulp, dunk us - burst lungs succumb."
    - Christian Bok, 'Eunoia'.

    October 30, 2008