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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce dull (audio)

Dictionary definition of dull

Lacking in interest, excitement, or stimulation
"The lecture on the topic was so dull that many students fell asleep."

Detailed meaning of dull

It signifies a lack of liveliness or engaging qualities, such as a dull conversation or a dull movie.

It can also refer to something lacking brightness, sheen, or vividness, such as a dull color or a dull sky on a cloudy day. In this sense, it denotes a lack of visual appeal or vibrancy.

It can also describe something lacking in sharpness, intensity, or brilliance, like a dull knife or a dull ache. This meaning suggests a diminished or reduced effectiveness or impact.

Lastly, it can describe someone lacking intelligence, wit, or creativity, as in a dull student or a dull performance. This meaning suggests a lack of sharpness or mental acuity.

Overall, the term "dull" encompasses qualities of visual blandness, reduced effectiveness, lack of interest or stimulation, and intellectual limitations.

Example sentences containing dull

1. The gray, overcast sky gave the city a dull appearance.
2. The blunt knife made it difficult to cut through the dull vegetables.
3. The party was a dull affair with no music or entertainment.
4. The book's dull plot failed to captivate the reader's interest.
5. The movie was criticized for its dull acting and predictable storyline.
6. The old, worn-out paint on the walls gave the room a dull and faded look.

History and etymology of dull

The adjective 'dull' has an etymology that can be traced back to Middle English and Old English. It originated from the Old English word 'dol' or 'dollic,' which meant 'stupid' or 'blunt.' In Middle English, it also took on the sense of 'boring' or 'uninteresting.' The Old English 'dol' itself is believed to have Germanic origins and is related to the Old Norse word 'dulr,' meaning 'slow' or 'dull.' Therefore, the etymology of 'dull' conveys the idea of lacking in interest, excitement, or stimulation, as if something is slow to captivate or fails to engage the senses or intellect. Over time, 'dull' has become a versatile term to describe things, experiences, or individuals that do not elicit enthusiasm or excitement, and it continues to be widely used to convey a sense of monotony or uninteresting qualities.

Quiz: Find the meaning of dull

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Further usage examples of dull

1. The repetitive task at work made the day feel dull and monotonous.
2. The dull pain in his knee made it hard for him to walk.
3. The presentation lacked creativity and was filled with dull, bullet-point slides.
4. The restaurant had a dull atmosphere with dim lighting and minimal decor.
5. The comedian's jokes fell flat, and the audience found his performance dull and uninspiring.
6. The lecture was so dull that most of the students struggled to stay awake.
7. His presentation was dreadfully dull, filled with monotonous data.
8. The movie turned out to be a dull, uninspiring experience.
9. The party became dull when the music stopped playing.
10. The museum exhibit was surprisingly dull, lacking in creativity.
11. The novel's dull plot failed to captivate the readers.
12. The conference was a dull affair, lacking dynamic speakers.
13. The restaurant's atmosphere was dull, with no ambiance.
14. His conversation was dull, devoid of interesting topics.
15. The city's nightlife was surprisingly dull for a Saturday.
16. The meeting was a dull, unproductive waste of time.
17. The play turned out to be a dull, uninspired performance.
18. The vacation was dull due to bad weather and canceled plans.
19. The restaurant's menu was dull, offering only basic dishes.
20. The party started off fun but soon grew dull.
21. The book's dull prose made it a tedious read.
22. The game was a dull affair, with no exciting moments.
23. The museum's exhibit was so dull, I left early.
24. The conversation at the table was dull, filled with awkward silences.
25. The conference was a dull, repetitive series of presentations.



boring, exciting, thrilling, stimulating


TOEFL 13, High School 11, Dull and Uninteresting

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