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adj. dull·er, dull·est
a. Arousing little interest; lacking liveliness; boring: a dull movie.
b. Not brisk or rapid; sluggish: Business has been dull.
2. Not having a sharp edge or point; blunt: a dull knife.
a. Not intensely or keenly felt: a dull ache.
b. Not bright, vivid, or shiny: a dull brown; a glaze with a dull finish.
c. Cloudy or overcast: a dull sky.
d. Not clear or resonant: a dull thud.
4. Intellectually weak or obtuse; stupid.
5. Lacking responsiveness or alertness; insensitive: half-asleep and dull to the noises in the next room.
6. Dispirited; depressed: a dull mood.
tr. & intr.v. dulled, dull·ing, dulls
To make or become dull.

[Middle English dul; akin to Old English dol.]

dull′ish adj.
dull′ness, dul′ness n.
dul′ly adv.
Synonyms: dull, colorless, drab1, humdrum, lackluster, pedestrian, stodgy, uninspired
These adjectives mean lacking in liveliness, charm, or surprise: a dull, uninteresting performance; a colorless and unimaginative person; a drab and boring job; a humdrum conversation; a lackluster life; a pedestrian movie plot; a stodgy dinner party; an uninspired lecture.
Antonym: lively
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.




  1. About as exciting as broccoli —Fred Barnes, “McLaughlin Group” television broadcast, December 29, 1986
  2. About as exciting as a ride on a stone camel —Anon
  3. As much personality as a paper cup —Raymond Chandler about the city of Los Angeles

    In his essay The Country Behind the Hill, critic Clive James explains that this was intended as a positive simile, reflecting Chandler’s fascination with the city’s seediness.

  4. Bland as a Bloody Mary without tabasco —Anon
  5. Bland as a martini without a twist of lemon —Anon
  6. Bland as hominy grits —Frederick Exley
  7. Blunt as ignorance —Samuel Rowley
  8. (The place was) dead as a ghost-town cemetery —Douglas Adams

    In his novel, The Fourth Widow, Adams extends the simile as follows: “And nowhere near as pretty.”

  9. (The place seemed to be as … ) dead as a Pharaoh —Raymond Chandler
  10. Dreary as an empty house —Gustave Flaubert
  11. Dreary as an old dishrag —Anon, capsule movie review in New York Times television listings
  12. Dreary as a Russian love story —William Diehl
  13. Dry as the Congressional Record —James J. Montague
  14. (Lies … ) dull and senseless as a stone —Elizabeth Barrett Browning
  15. Dull as a jail cell —Ira Wood
  16. (A day as) dull as a lead nickel —John Wainwright
  17. (A brown macrame wall hanging) dull as dirt —Patricia Henley
  18. Dull as pig shit —Ethel Merman, about her friend Benay Venuta’s Jewish society friends
  19. Dull as brushing your teeth —Anon
  20. Dull as ditch-water —Charles Dickens

    An everyday expression modernized to “Dull as dishwater.”

  21. (When he is gone, the world will be) dull as Mars —Lorrie Moore
  22. (The road north is … ) dull like a camel plodding through the desert —Anon
  23. Dull … like a cookbook written by someone who doesn’t like food —Pat Conroy
  24. An eternal sameness, like a blank wall —Robert Silverberg
  25. Flat and insipid as a pancake —Anatole France

    Anatole France loved proverbs, and so this extension of familiar wisdom.

  26. [About an experience someone is relating] flat as the telling at breakfast of an ecstatic dream —Stella Benson
  27. Had the personality of a dried-out fart —Anon
  28. Interesting as boiled potatoes —Anon
  29. Interesting as staring at a blank wall —Anon
  30. Interesting as watching paint dry —Dee Weber
  31. Life as humdrum as that of a country curate —W. Somerset Maugham
  32. Life … devoid of incident as the longest of Trollope’s novels —O. Henry
  33. Life here is as calm as a gold-fish tank with one half-animate inmate: me —Julia O’Faolain
  34. Life is as tedious as a twice-told tale —William Shakespeare
  35. Looked dreary, like a theater before anybody comes —Mark Twain
  36. Looked like she had the IQ of a well-mannered houseplant —A. E. Maxwell
  37. Mind … slept and snored like a full dog by the fire —George Garrett
  38. Monotonous as a sailor’s chantey —Raymond Chandler
  39. Monotonous like water dripping on sandstone —John MacDonald
  40. My life is as flat as the table I write on —Gustave Flaubert
  41. A new idea made its way into her mind with much difficulty, as if it had to traverse the meshes of a choked sieve —Stefan Zweig
  42. Numb as a potato —Daniel Asa Rose
  43. Obtuse as an ocelot —Gregory McDonald
  44. Personality like a cup of yogurt —Pat Conroy
  45. Persons without minds are like weeds that delight in good earth; they want to be amused by others, all the more because they are dull within —Honoré de Balzac
  46. Seemed dull … as simple as a three-headed treasure-guarding troll —Anon
  47. (The people who surrounded him) seemed like white bread, inexcusably bland —Phillip Lopate
  48. Shadowy and uninteresting as an event in an outdated and long-unread novel —Gillian Tindall

    The frame of reference for the comparison is a brief, long-ago marriage.

  49. There are some things so dull they hypnotize like the pendulum of a clock —Karl Shapiro
  50. Tiresome as virtue —Edith Wharton
  51. Too dull —no stir, no storm, no life about it … like being part dead and part alive, both at the same time —Mark Twain

    The condition thus described in Twain’s story, Captain Stormfield’s Visit to Heaven, is that of running a grocery store.

  52. Unconscious as a face of stone —H. W. Hudson
  53. (His friends were as) uninteresting as the dead —Rumer Godden
  54. Void of life as a block of ice —Patricia Henley
Similes Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1988 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.dullness - the quality of being slow to understand
stupidity - a poor ability to understand or to profit from experience
oscitance, oscitancy - drowsiness and dullness manifested by yawning
2.dullness - the quality of lacking interestingness; "the stories were of a dullness to bring a buffalo to its knees"
uninterestingness - inability to capture or hold one's interest
boringness, dreariness, insipidity, insipidness - extreme dullness; lacking spirit or interest
tediousness, tiresomeness, tedium - dullness owing to length or slowness
jejunity, tameness, vapidity, vapidness, jejuneness - the quality of being vapid and unsophisticated
3.dullness - a lack of visual brightness; "the brightness of the orange sky was reflected in the dullness of the orange sea"
visual property - an attribute of vision
subduedness, dimness - the property of lights or sounds that lack brilliance or are reduced in intensity
lusterlessness, lustrelessness, matt, matte, flatness, mat - the property of having little or no contrast; lacking highlights or gloss
brightness - the location of a visual perception along a continuum from black to white
4.dullness - lack of sensibility; "there was a dullness in his heart"; "without him the dullness of her life crept into her work no matter how she tried to compartmentalize it."
callousness, unfeelingness, callosity, insensibility, hardness - devoid of passion or feeling; hardheartedness
5.dullness - without sharpness or clearness of edge or point; "the dullness of the pencil made his writing illegible"
obtuseness - the quality of lacking a sharp edge or point
shape, configuration, conformation, contour, form - any spatial attributes (especially as defined by outline); "he could barely make out their shapes"
asperity, sharpness - harshness of manner
keenness, sharpness - thinness of edge or fineness of point
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


1. tediousness, monotony, banality, flatness, dreariness, vapidity, insipidity the dullness of their routine life
tediousness interest, colour, liveliness
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


also dulness
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
بَلادَه، بُطء الفَهْم
heimska; deyfî; andleysi


[ˈdʌlnɪs] N
1. (= lack of interest) [of book, lecture, person] → lo aburrido, pesadez f
2. (= lack of brightness) [of colour, metal] → falta f de brillo, lo opaco; [of landscape] → monotonía f; [of room] → lo lúgubre; [of sound, pain] → lo sordo
3. (= slow-wittedness) [of person] → torpeza f
dullness of hearingdureza f de oído
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[ˈdʌlnɪs] n
(= boringness) [life, routine] → monotonie f
to break the dullness of sth → briser la monotonie de qch
(= lack of sharpness) [senses, mind] → manque m de vivacitédull-witted [ˌdʌlˈwɪtɪd] adjdur(e) à la détente
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


(of light)Trübheit f; (of colours, eyes)Mattheit f; (of hair, paintwork, metal)Stumpfheit f; (of weather, day)Trübheit f; (of sky)Bedecktheit f
(= boring nature)Langweiligkeit f
(of sound, thud)Dumpfheit f
(= listlessness, of person) → Trägheit f; (of expression)Lustlosigkeit f; (St Ex, Comm, of market) → Flauheit f
(= slow-wittedness)Langsamkeit f
(form, = bluntness) → Stumpfheit f
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[ˈdʌlnɪs] n
a. (of life, evening) → tedio; (of person, uninteresting character) → l'essere noioso/a; (slow-wittedness) → ottusità; (lack of vitality) → inerzia; (of books, ideas, approach) → mancanza di originalità
b. (of colour, metal) → opacità; (of sound) → tono sordo
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(dal) adjective
1. slow to learn or to understand. The clever children help the dull ones.
2. not bright or clear. a dull day.
3. not exciting or interesting. a very dull book.
ˈdully adverb
ˈdullness noun
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


, dulness
1. n. matidez, resonancia disminuída en la palpación;
2. estado de aburrimiento, torpeza, estupidez;
3. [instrument's edge] melladura.
English-Spanish Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012