Something that is bleak is gloomy and depressing. If it's raining and dark, you might describe the night as bleak. If you have looked for work and no one will hire you, you could describe your prospects as bleak.

If you and the ten people sharing your lifeboat have been adrift for ten days and are down to your last cracker, your situation is bleak. A near synonym is dismal. Bleak is from Middle English bleik, from Old Norse bleikr "white, pale." This word is related to the English word bleach.

Definitions of bleak
  1. adjective
    unpleasantly cold and damp
    bleak winds of the North Atlantic”
    synonyms: cutting, raw
    having a low or inadequate temperature or feeling a sensation of coldness or having been made cold by e.g. ice or refrigeration
  2. adjective
    providing no shelter or sustenance
    “the bleak treeless regions of the high Andes”
    synonyms: bare, barren, desolate, stark
    unfavorable to life or growth
  3. adjective
    offering little or no hope
    “prospects were bleak
    “"Life in the Aran Islands has always been bleak and difficult"- J.M.Synge”
    synonyms: black, dim
    without hope because there seems to be no possibility of comfort or success
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