When you have a nasty cold and you’re very congested, food can taste unappealingly bland. That means dull, flavorless, or just plain “blah.”

Bland comes to us from the Latin word blandus, meaning “mild, smooth, flattering, alluring.” Funny, because today you wouldn't say there's anything "alluring" about something bland. People still use bland to mean pleasant and tranquil, but it more often has a negative connotation. Use it to describe plain old oatmeal before you’ve added brown sugar and berries to it, or to depict the forgettable, uninteresting personality of the lunch lady who served it to you.

Definitions of bland

adj lacking taste or flavor or tang

“a bland diet”
flat, flavorless, flavourless, insipid, savorless, savourless, vapid
lacking flavor

adj lacking stimulating characteristics; uninteresting

“a bland little drama”
unexciting, unstimulating
not stimulating

adj smoothly agreeable and courteous with a degree of sophistication

politic, smooth, suave
diplomatic, diplomatical
using or marked by tact in dealing with sensitive matters or people

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