dull

To dull something means to take away its edge, its energy, or its excitement. "Watching that movie will dull your senses, until you fall asleep."

Let’s think of something interesting about dull. Hmm. It can be a verb or an adjective! So when you’re reading a dull or boring word description, for instance, it can dull or deaden your appetite for reading more word descriptions. That’s pretty fascinating, no? You can even use it for physical things, like a knife, which you can dull, that is, make it less sharp. You can even dull something visual, making it lacking in light, or use it describe pain — you know, the kind that is not sharp, just an ache. Exciting? No — dull.

PRIMARY MEANINGS OF: dull

1
adjv
so lacking in interest as to cause mental weariness
become less interesting or attractive
2
adjv
emitting or reflecting very little light
make dull in appearance
3
adjv
being or made softer or less loud or clear
deaden (a sound or noise), especially by wrapping
4
adjv
not having a sharp edge or point
make dull or blunt
5
adjv
not keenly felt
make numb or insensitive
FULL DEFINITIONS OF: dull
1

adj so lacking in interest as to cause mental weariness

“a dull play”
“his competent but dull performance”
Synonyms:
boring, deadening, ho-hum, irksome, slow, tedious, tiresome, wearisome
uninteresting
arousing no interest or attention or curiosity or excitement

adj 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”
Synonyms
unanimated
not animated or enlivened; dull
colorless, colourless
lacking in variety and interest
arid, desiccate, desiccated
lacking vitality or spirit; lifeless
bovine
dull and slow-moving and stolid; like an ox
drab, dreary
lacking in liveliness or charm or surprise
heavy, leaden
lacking lightness or liveliness
humdrum, monotonous
tediously repetitious or lacking in variety
lackluster, lacklustre, lusterless, lustreless
lacking brilliance or vitality
spiritless
lacking ardor or vigor or energy
Antonyms:
lively
full of life and energy
alert, watchful
engaged in or accustomed to close observation
alive, animated
having life or vigor or spirit
alive
(often followed by `with') full of life and spirit
bouncing, bouncy, peppy, spirited, zippy
marked by lively action
breezy
fresh and animated
bubbly
full of or showing high spirits
bubbling, effervescent, frothy, scintillating, sparkly
marked by high spirits or excitement
burbling, burbly, effusive, gushing
uttered with unrestrained enthusiasm
live
abounding with life and energy
warm
characterized by liveliness or excitement or disagreement
energetic
possessing or exerting or displaying energy
spirited
displaying animation, vigor, or liveliness
rested
not tired; refreshed as by sleeping or relaxing
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adj blunted in responsiveness or sensibility

“a dull gaze”
“"so exhausted she was dull to what went on about her"- Willa Cather”
Synonyms
insensitive
deficient in human sensibility; not mentally or morally sensitive

adj slow to learn or understand; lacking intellectual acuity

“"although dull at classical learning, at mathematics he was uncommonly quick"- Thackeray”
Synonyms:
dense, dim, dumb, obtuse, slow
stupid
lacking or marked by lack of intellectual acuity

adj (of business) not active or brisk

“business is dull (or slow)”
Synonyms:
slow, sluggish
inactive
lacking activity; lying idle or unused

v become less interesting or attractive

Synonyms:
pall
Type of:
change
undergo a change; become different in essence; losing one's or its original nature

v make less lively or vigorous

“Middle age dulled her appetite for travel”
Types:
cloud
make milky or dull
Type of:
weaken
become weaker
2

adj emitting or reflecting very little light

“a dull glow”
dull silver badly in need of a polish”
“a dull sky”
Synonyms
flat, mat, matt, matte, matted
not reflecting light; not glossy
lackluster, lacklustre, lusterless, lustreless
lacking luster or shine
soft, subdued
not brilliant or glaring
unpolished
not carefully reworked or perfected or made smooth by polishing
Antonyms:
bright
emitting or reflecting light readily or in large amounts
agleam, gleaming, nitid
bright with a steady but subdued shining
aglow, lambent, lucent, luminous
softly bright or radiant
aglitter, coruscant, fulgid, glinting, glistering, glittering, glittery, scintillant, scintillating, sparkly
having brief brilliant points or flashes of light
beadlike, beady, buttonlike, buttony
small and round and shiny like a shiny bead or button
beaming, beamy, effulgent, radiant, refulgent
radiating or as if radiating light
blazing, blinding, dazzling, fulgent, glaring, glary
shining intensely
bright as a new penny
(metaphor) shining brightly
brilliant
full of light; shining intensely
ardent
glowing or shining like fire
glimmery
shining softly and intermittently
glistening, glossy, lustrous, sheeny, shining, shiny
reflecting light
iridescent, nacreous, opalescent, opaline, pearlescent
having a play of lustrous rainbow colors
lurid
shining with an unnatural red glow as of fire seen through smoke
noctilucent
shining or glowing by night
satiny, silken, silklike, silky, sleek, slick
having a smooth, gleaming surface reflecting light
self-luminous
having in itself the property of emitting light
shimmery
glistening tremulously
silver, silvern, silvery
having the white lustrous sheen of silver
twinkling
shining intermittently with a sparkling light
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adj darkened with overcast

“a dull sky”
Synonyms:
leaden
cloudy
full of or covered with clouds

adj (of color) very low in saturation; highly diluted

dull greens and blues”
Synonyms
unsaturated
(of color) not chromatically pure; diluted

v make dull in appearance

“Age had dulled the surface”
Type of:
alter, change, modify
cause to change; make different; cause a transformation

v become dull or lusterless in appearance; lose shine or brightness

“the varnished table top dulled with time”
Type of:
change
undergo a change; become different in essence; losing one's or its original nature
3

adj being or made softer or less loud or clear

“the dull boom of distant breaking waves”
Synonyms:
muffled, muted, softened
soft
(of sound) relatively low in volume

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

“the dull thud”
Synonyms:
thudding
nonresonant, unreverberant
not reverberant; lacking a tendency to reverberate

v deaden (a sound or noise), especially by wrapping

Synonyms:
damp, dampen, muffle, mute, tone down
Type of:
soften
make (images or sounds) soft or softer
4

adj not having a sharp edge or point

“the knife was too dull to be of any use”
Synonyms
blunt
used of a knife or other blade; not sharp
blunted, dulled
made dull or blunt
edgeless
lacking a cutting edge
unsharpened
not sharpened
Antonyms:
sharp
having or made by a thin edge or sharp point; suitable for cutting or piercing
carnassial
(of a tooth) adapted for shearing flesh
chisel-like
resembling a chisel
dagger-like
resembling a dagger
drill-like
resembling a drill
edged
having a cutting edge or especially an edge or edges as specified; often used in combination
fang-like
resembling a fang
file-like
resembling a file
incisive
suitable for cutting or piercing
keen
having a sharp cutting edge or point
knifelike
cutting or able to cut as if with a knife
metal-cutting
hard and sharp enough to cut metal
penetrating, penetrative
tending to penetrate; having the power of entering or piercing
razor-sharp
as sharp as a razor
sharpened
made sharp or sharper
sharp-toothed
having sharp teeth
pointed
having a point
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v make dull or blunt

“Too much cutting dulls the knife's edge”
Synonyms:
blunt
Antonyms:
sharpen
make sharp or sharper
Type of:
alter, change, modify
cause to change; make different; cause a transformation
5

adj not keenly felt

“a dull throbbing”
dull pain”
Synonyms
deadened
made or become less intense
Antonyms:
sharp
keenly and painfully felt; as if caused by a sharp edge or point
acute, intense
extremely sharp or intense
cutting, keen, knifelike, lancinate, lancinating, piercing, stabbing
painful as if caused by a sharp instrument
fulgurating
sharp and piercing
salt
(of speech) painful or bitter
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v make numb or insensitive

Synonyms:
benumb, blunt, numb
Type of:
desensitise, desensitize
cause not to be sensitive
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