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Definition of 'dull'


  1. make dull in appearance; "Age had dulled the surface"
  2. become dull or lusterless in appearance; lose shine or brightness; "the varnished table top dulled with time"
  3. deaden (a sound or noise), especially by wrapping
       Synonyms: muffle mute damp dampen tone down
  4. make numb or insensitive; "The shock numbed her senses"
       Synonyms: numb benumb blunt
  5. make dull or blunt; "Too much cutting dulls the knife's edge"
       Synonyms: blunt
       Antonyms: sharpen
  6. become less interesting or attractive
       Synonyms: pall
  7. make less lively or vigorous; "Middle age dulled her appetite for travel"


  1. lacking in liveliness or animation; "he was so dull at parties"; "a dull political campaign"; "a large dull impassive man"; "dull days with nothing to do"; "how dull and dreary the world is"; "fell back into one of her dull moods"
       Antonyms: lively
  2. emitting or reflecting very little light; "a dull glow"; "dull silver badly in need of a polish"; "a dull sky"
       Antonyms: bright
  3. being or made softer or less loud or clear; "the dull boom of distant breaking waves"; "muffled drums"; "the muffled noises of the street"; "muted trumpets"
       Synonyms: muffled muted softened
  4. so lacking in interest as to cause mental weariness; "a boring evening with uninteresting people"; "the deadening effect of some routine tasks"; "a dull play"; "his competent but dull performance"; "a ho-hum speaker who couldn't capture their attention"; "what an irksome task the writing of long letters is"- Edmund Burke; "tedious days on the train"; "the tiresome chirping of a cricket"- Mark Twain; "other people's dreams are dreadfully wearisome"
       Synonyms: boring deadening ho-hum irksome slow tedious tiresome wearisome
  5. (of color) very low in saturation; highly diluted; "dull greens and blues"
  6. not keenly felt; "a dull throbbing"; "dull pain"
       Antonyms: sharp
  7. slow to learn or understand; lacking intellectual acuity; "so dense he never understands anything I say to him"; "never met anyone quite so dim"; "although dull at classical learning, at mathematics he was uncommonly quick"- Thackeray; "dumb officials make some really dumb decisions"; "he was either normally stupid or being deliberately obtuse"; "worked with the slow students"
       Synonyms: dense dim dumb obtuse slow
  8. (of business) not active or brisk; "business is dull (or slow)"; "a sluggish market"
       Synonyms: slow sluggish
  9. not having a sharp edge or point; "the knife was too dull to be of any use"
       Antonyms: sharp
  10. blunted in responsiveness or sensibility; "a dull gaze"; "so exhausted she was dull to what went on about her"- Willa Cather
  11. not clear and resonant; sounding as if striking with or against something relatively soft; "the dull thud"; "thudding bullets"
       Synonyms: thudding
  12. darkened with overcast; "a dark day"; "a dull sky"; "a grey rainy afternoon"; "grey clouds"; "the sky was leaden and thick"
       Synonyms: grey gray leaden

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