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DULL

Pronunciation (US): 

 Dictionary entry overview: What does dull mean? 

DULL (adjective)
  The adjective DULL has 12 senses:

1. lacking in liveliness or animation
2. emitting or reflecting very little light
3. being or made softer or less loud or clear
4. so lacking in interest as to cause mental weariness
5. (of color) very low in saturation; highly diluted
6. not keenly felt
7. slow to learn or understand; lacking intellectual acuity
8. (of business) not active or brisk
9. not having a sharp edge or point
10. blunted in responsiveness or sensibility
11. not clear and resonant; sounding as if striking with or against something relatively soft
12. darkened with overcast

  Familiarity information: DULL used as an adjective is familiar.


DULL (verb)
  The verb DULL has 7 senses:

1. make dull in appearance
2. become dull or lusterless in appearance; lose shine or brightness
3. deaden (a sound or noise), especially by wrapping
4. make numb or insensitive
5. make dull or blunt
6. become less interesting or attractive
7. make less lively or vigorous

  Familiarity information: DULL used as a verb is common.


 Dictionary entry details 


DULL (adjective)


Sense 1dull [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Lacking in liveliness or animation

Context examples:

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

Similar:

lackluster; lacklustre; lusterless; lustreless (lacking brilliance or vitality)

humdrum; monotonous (tediously repetitious or lacking in variety)

heavy; leaden (lacking lightness or liveliness)

drab; dreary (lacking in liveliness or charm or surprise)

bovine (dull and slow-moving and stolid; like an ox)

arid; desiccate; desiccated (lacking vitality or spirit; lifeless)

Also:

colorless; colourless (lacking in variety and interest)

unanimated (not animated or enlivened; dull)

spiritless (lacking ardor or vigor or energy)

Attribute:

dullness (the quality of lacking interestingness)

Antonym:

lively (full of life and energy)


Sense 2dull [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Emitting or reflecting very little light

Context examples:

a dull glow / dull silver badly in need of a polish / a dull sky

Similar:

flat; mat; matt; matte; matted (not reflecting light; not glossy)

lackluster; lacklustre; lusterless; lustreless (lacking luster or shine)

soft; subdued (not brilliant or glaring)

Also:

unpolished (not carefully reworked or perfected or made smooth by polishing)

Attribute:

brightness; brightness level; light; luminance; luminosity; luminousness (the quality of being luminous; emitting or reflecting light)

Antonym:

bright (emitting or reflecting light readily or in large amounts)


Sense 3dull [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Being or made softer or less loud or clear

Synonyms:

muffled; muted; softened; dull

Context examples:

the dull boom of distant breaking waves / muffled drums / the muffled noises of the street / muted trumpets

Similar:

soft ((of sound) relatively low in volume)


Sense 4dull [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

So lacking in interest as to cause mental weariness

Synonyms:

boring; deadening; wearisome; ho-hum; irksome; tiresome; tedious; dull; slow

Context examples:

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 / tedious days on the train / the tiresome chirping of a cricket / other people's dreams are dreadfully wearisome

Similar:

uninteresting (arousing no interest or attention or curiosity or excitement)


Sense 5dull [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

(of color) very low in saturation; highly diluted

Context example:

dull greens and blues

Similar:

unsaturated ((of color) not chromatically pure; diluted)


Sense 6dull [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Not keenly felt

Context examples:

a dull throbbing / dull pain

Similar:

deadened (made or become less intense)

Antonym:

sharp (keenly and painfully felt; as if caused by a sharp edge or point)


Sense 7dull [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Slow to learn or understand; lacking intellectual acuity

Synonyms:

dumb; slow; obtuse; dim; dense; dull

Context examples:

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 / dumb officials make some really dumb decisions / he was either normally stupid or being deliberately obtuse / worked with the slow students

Similar:

stupid (lacking or marked by lack of intellectual acuity)


Sense 8dull [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

(of business) not active or brisk

Synonyms:

sluggish; slow; dull

Context examples:

business is dull (or slow) / a sluggish market

Similar:

inactive (lacking activity; lying idle or unused)

Domain category:

business; business enterprise; commercial enterprise (the activity of providing goods and services involving financial and commercial and industrial aspects)


Sense 9dull [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Not having a sharp edge or point

Context example:

the knife was too dull to be of any use

Similar:

unsharpened (not sharpened)

edgeless (lacking a cutting edge)

blunted; dulled (made dull or blunt)

blunt (used of a knife or other blade; not sharp)

Antonym:

sharp (having or made by a thin edge or sharp point; suitable for cutting or piercing)


Sense 10dull [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Blunted in responsiveness or sensibility

Context examples:

a dull gaze / so exhausted she was dull to what went on about her

Similar:

insensitive (deficient in human sensibility; not mentally or morally sensitive)


Sense 11dull [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Not clear and resonant; sounding as if striking with or against something relatively soft

Synonyms:

thudding; dull

Context examples:

the dull thud / thudding bullets

Similar:

nonresonant; unreverberant (not reverberant; lacking a tendency to reverberate)


Sense 12dull [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Darkened with overcast

Synonyms:

leaden; gray; grey; dull

Context examples:

a dark day / a dull sky / a grey rainy afternoon / grey clouds / the sky was leaden and thick

Similar:

cloudy (full of or covered with clouds)


DULL (verb)


Sense 1dull [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Make dull in appearance

Classified under:

Verbs of touching, hitting, tying, digging

Context example:

Age had dulled the surface

Hypernyms (to "dull" is one way to...):

alter; change; modify (cause to change; make different; cause a transformation)

Sentence frames:

Somebody ----s something
Something ----s something


Sense 2dull [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Become dull or lusterless in appearance; lose shine or brightness

Classified under:

Verbs of size, temperature change, intensifying, etc.

Context example:

the varnished table top dulled with time

Hypernyms (to "dull" is one way to...):

change (undergo a change; become different in essence; losing one's or its original nature)

Sentence frame:

Something ----s


Sense 3dull [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Deaden (a sound or noise), especially by wrapping

Classified under:

Verbs of seeing, hearing, feeling

Synonyms:

tone down; mute; damp; muffle; dull; dampen

Hypernyms (to "dull" is one way to...):

soften (make (images or sounds) soft or softer)

Sentence frames:

Somebody ----s something
Something ----s something


Sense 4dull [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Make numb or insensitive

Classified under:

Verbs of seeing, hearing, feeling

Synonyms:

benumb; numb; blunt; dull

Context example:

The shock numbed her senses

Hypernyms (to "dull" is one way to...):

desensitise; desensitize (cause not to be sensitive)

Sentence frames:

Somebody ----s something
Somebody ----s somebody
Something ----s somebody


Sense 5dull [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Make dull or blunt

Classified under:

Verbs of touching, hitting, tying, digging

Synonyms:

blunt; dull

Context example:

Too much cutting dulls the knife's edge

Hypernyms (to "dull" is one way to...):

alter; change; modify (cause to change; make different; cause a transformation)

Sentence frames:

Somebody ----s something
Something ----s something

Antonym:

sharpen (make sharp or sharper)


Sense 6dull [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Become less interesting or attractive

Classified under:

Verbs of size, temperature change, intensifying, etc.

Synonyms:

pall; dull

Hypernyms (to "dull" is one way to...):

change (undergo a change; become different in essence; losing one's or its original nature)

Sentence frame:

Something ----s


Sense 7dull [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Make less lively or vigorous

Classified under:

Verbs of size, temperature change, intensifying, etc.

Context example:

Middle age dulled her appetite for travel

Hypernyms (to "dull" is one way to...):

weaken (become weaker)

Troponyms (each of the following is one way to "dull"):

cloud (make milky or dull)

Sentence frames:

Somebody ----s something
Something ----s something


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 DULL: related words searches 

 Related FAQs: 
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