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

  • adj. Intellectually weak or obtuse; stupid.
  • adj. Lacking responsiveness or alertness; insensitive.
  • adj. Dispirited; depressed.
  • adj. Not brisk or rapid; sluggish: Business is dull.
  • adj. Not having a sharp edge or point; blunt: a dull knife.
  • adj. Not intensely or keenly felt: a dull ache.
  • adj. Arousing no interest or curiosity; boring: a dull play.
  • adj. Not bright or vivid. Used of a color: a dull brown.
  • adj. Cloudy or overcast: a dull sky.
  • adj. Not clear or resonant: a dull thud.
  • transitive v. To make or become dull.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Lacking the ability to cut easily; not sharp.
  • adj. Boring; not exciting or interesting.
  • adj. Not shiny; having a matte finish or no particular luster.
  • adj. Not bright or intelligent; stupid; slow of understanding.
  • v. To render dull; to remove or blunt an edge or something that was sharp.
  • v. To soften, moderate or blunt.
  • v. To lose a sharp edge; to become dull.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Slow of understanding; wanting readiness of apprehension; stupid; doltish; blockish.
  • adj. Slow in action; sluggish; unready; awkward.
  • adj. Insensible; unfeeling.
  • adj. Not keen in edge or point; lacking sharpness; blunt.
  • adj. Not bright or clear to the eye; wanting in liveliness of color or luster; not vivid; obscure; dim
  • adj. Heavy; gross; cloggy; insensible; spiritless; lifeless; inert.
  • adj. Furnishing little delight, spirit, or variety; uninteresting; tedious; cheerless; gloomy; melancholy; depressing; ; hence, cloudy; overcast.
  • intransitive v. To become dull or stupid.
  • transitive v. To deprive of sharpness of edge or point.
  • transitive v. To make dull, stupid, or sluggish; to stupefy, as the senses, the feelings, the perceptions, and the like.
  • transitive v. To render dim or obscure; to sully; to tarnish.
  • transitive v. To deprive of liveliness or activity; to render heavy; to make inert; to depress; to weary; to sadden.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Stupid; foolish; doltish; blockish; slow of understanding: as, a lad of dull intellect.
  • Heavy; sluggish; drowsy; inanimate; slow in thought, expression, or action: as, a surfeit leaves one dull; a dull thinker; a dull sermon; a dull stream; trade is dull.
  • Wanting sensibility or keenness; not quick in perception: as, dull of hearing; dull of seeing.
  • Sad; melancholy; depressed; dismal.
  • Not pleasing or enlivening; not exhilarating; causing dullness or ennui; depressing; cheerless: as, dull weather; a dull prospect.
  • Gross; inanimate; insensible.
  • Not bright or clear; not vivid; dim; obscure: as, a dull fire or light; a dull red color; the mirror gives a dull reflection.
  • Not sharp or acute; obtuse; blunt: as, a dull sword; a dull needle.
  • Not keenly felt; not intense: as, a dull pain.
  • To make dull, stupid, heavy, insensible, etc.; lessen the vigor, activity, or sensitiveness of; render inanimate; damp: as, to dull the wits; to dull the senses.
  • To render dim; sully; tarnish or cloud: as, the breath dulls a mirror.
  • To make less sharp or acute; render blunt or obtuse: as, to dull a knife or a needle.
  • To make less keenly felt; moderate the intensity of: as, to dull pain.
  • To become dull or blunt; become stupid.
  • To become calm; moderate: as, the wind dulled, or dulled down, about twelve o'clock.
  • To become deadened in color; lose brightness.
  • To fish with a dull: as, to dull for trout.
  • n. A noose of string or wire used to snare fish; usually, a noose of bright copper wire attached by a short string to a stout pole.

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

  • adj. being or made softer or less loud or clear
  • adj. slow to learn or understand; lacking intellectual acuity
  • v. become dull or lusterless in appearance; lose shine or brightness
  • v. become less interesting or attractive
  • adj. not clear and resonant; sounding as if striking with or against something relatively soft
  • v. make dull or blunt
  • adj. (of color) very low in saturation; highly diluted
  • adj. so lacking in interest as to cause mental weariness
  • adj. not keenly felt
  • v. make dull in appearance
  • adj. (of business) not active or brisk
  • adj. darkened with overcast
  • v. deaden (a sound or noise), especially by wrapping
  • adj. blunted in responsiveness or sensibility
  • adj. emitting or reflecting very little light
  • adj. lacking in liveliness or animation
  • adj. not having a sharp edge or point
  • v. make numb or insensitive
  • v. make less lively or vigorous


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

Middle English dul; akin to Old English dol.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English dull, dul (also dyll, dill, dwal), from Old English dol ("dull, foolish, erring, heretical; foolish, silly; presumptuous"), from Proto-Germanic *dulaz, a variant of *dwalaz (“stunned, mad, foolish, misled”), from Proto-Indo-European *dʰwel-, *dʰewel- (“to dim, dull, cloud, make obscure, swirl, whirl”). Cognate with Scots dull, doll ("slow to understand or hear, deaf, dull"), North Frisian dol ("rash, unthinking, giddy, flippant"), Dutch dol ("crazy, mad, insane"), Low German dul, dol ("mad, silly, stupid, fatuous"), German toll ("crazy, mad, wild, fantastic"), Danish dval ("foolish, absurd"), Icelandic dulur ("secretive, silent").



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  • "A young Woman her name was Dull."

    John Bunyan (1628-1688), Pilgrim's Progress

    September 20, 2009

  • John McGrath's eyes are fine... he really is a dull boy.

    September 7, 2009