Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of various small European freshwater fishes of the genus Alburnus, having silvery scales.
  • adjective Gloomy and somber.
  • adjective Providing no encouragement; depressing.
  • adjective Cold and cutting; raw.
  • adjective Exposed to the elements; unsheltered and barren.

from The Century Dictionary.

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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

Etymologies

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

[Middle English bleke, probably alteration (influenced by bleke, pale) of *blay, from Old English blǣge.]

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

[Middle English bleik, pale, from Old Norse bleikr, white; see bhel- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Probably from Old Norse bleikja.

Examples

  • The thought of Nick standing there in the stables, his expression bleak and angry, tall and dark yet so oddly comfortable and easy to be with, made the breath catch in her throat.

    A Hopeless Romantic

  • The thought of Nick standing there in the stables, his expression bleak and angry, tall and dark yet so oddly comfortable and easy to be with, made the breath catch in her throat.

    A Hopeless Romantic

  • The thought of Nick standing there in the stables, his expression bleak and angry, tall and dark yet so oddly comfortable and easy to be with, made the breath catch in her throat.

    A Hopeless Romantic

  • Then again, Amanda is not a big fan of what she calls bleak medicalized definitions.

    CNN Transcript Apr 2, 2008

  • That bad times pass, that keeping going when things look bleak is better than holing up, and that a disaster is not always the end of a project.

    April Scientiae: We Rise Up

  • I would later find out that those kind of "internal" Committee polls are skewed to help fundraising efforts in bleak election years.

    Matthew Frankel: Today the Future Begins

  • Major themes are rebellion against authority and wanderings in bleak, post-apocalyptic landscapes.

    MIND MELD: Guide to International SF/F (Part III)

  • I would later find out that those kind of "internal" Committee polls are skewed to help fundraising efforts in bleak election years.

    Matthew Frankel: Today the Future Begins

  • Warning comes in bleak 28-page response to the Department of Media, Culture and Sport from S4C over threatened cuts

    S4C claims 40% budget cut would 'call into question' future of channel

  • And once again, it seems to me we have this question utterly backwards; ask not why our genre tends to see the human future in bleak terms - ask instead why we suffer this constant cry within the genre to make room for cheap, plastic, rosy 'n' cosy models of human development appropriate to a Disney movie for five year olds.

    MIND MELD: Why is Genre Fiction Bleak and What Can Be Done About It?

Comments

New comments are temporarily disabled while we update our database.

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

    January 22, 2009

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

    January 22, 2009

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

    January 22, 2009

  • It's a fish.

    Guanine extracted from the scales is used in the manufacture of artificial pearls.

    January 2, 2012

  • '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