Definition of dullness in English:


(also dulness)


  • 1Lack of interest or excitement.

    ‘tasks of such repetitive and numbing dullness’
    ‘a desert of unremitting flatness and dullness’
    ‘the dullness of domestic life’
    • ‘For the viewer or the reader, this can be a pleasant experience, a feeling of ease, without boredom or dullness.’
    • ‘Another insider said the campaign reflected the dullness of political advertising in Ireland.’
    • ‘To tell the truth, my life was so complicated now, that I could use a little dullness.’
    • ‘In it he described with realism and satire the dullness of life in a small Midwestern town.’
    • ‘Their ponderous dullness fails to convey either the excitement of intellectual exploration or its importance.’
    • ‘The drama of his voice is diminished by the dullness of the musical setting.’
    • ‘He is daily enraged by the hectoring of his parents and the dullness of his paper-shuffling job.’
    • ‘In this case, though, the group's consistency is due to the dullness of its music.’
    • ‘The Party's central organ, once the epitome of dullness, has had to brighten itself up to compete against more sprightly daily newspapers.’
    • ‘It was just this sort of plodding dullness that made corporations work relatively efficiently.’
  • 2Lack of brightness, vividness, or sheen.

    ‘flowery options to brighten up the dullness of autumn’
    ‘the summer light cut into the dullness of the room’
    ‘the dullness of the colors’
    • ‘He noticed the drag in Michael's step, the paleness of his usually dark face, and the dullness in his eyes.’
    • ‘A great contribution to the event is the lighting plot: the sky turns from the heat of sunsets in Jamaica to the dullness of Devon.’
    • ‘Hair care poses a big problem, for constant setting, colouring and blow-drying may easily result in dryness, dullness and lifelessness.’
    • ‘The sky was bright, contrasting with the dullness of bare branches reaching towards it.’
    • ‘As skin starts showing dullness and fine lines, choose a foundation that softens and camouflages flaws.’
    • ‘In fact, teeth whitening may not work for some people at all, depending on whether the source of the dullness is external or intrinsic.’
    • ‘Most of the colors here are well rendered and bright, though there is a slight dullness in the picture at times.’
    • ‘The colors are all vibrantly rendered without any dullness.’
    • ‘Colors were appropriately subdued; even dark scenes avoided dullness for the most part, keeping browns and blacks relatively rich and true.’
    • ‘The angel's yellow sleeve and pink-accented wing and cheek animate the studied dullness of taupe vestments and pitch background.’
  • 3The quality of being slow to understand; stupidity.

    ‘critical comments on the stupidity or dullness of those in authority’
    ‘dullness of comprehension’
    • ‘Many writers have commented on the brilliance of Trotsky and the dullness of Stalin.’
    • ‘Most of us have no idea of what could happen in our lives if we would overcome our stupidity and dullness.’
    • ‘But the stupid person is cold and fearful, through the dullness of his understanding and laziness of the senses.’
    • ‘In drama, a dullness has crept in because intellectualism isn't a word you're allowed to utter any more.’
    • ‘I think Republicans and Democrats are equally unintelligent, but Ted's recent antics have tipped the scales measuring mental dullness in the Democrats' favor.’
    • ‘Stupidity, density, foolishness, dullness; no matter how you name it, it does not exist!’
    1. 3.1 The quality of not perceiving things distinctly.
      ‘you might notice mental dullness that feels like a hangover’
      ‘dullness of vision’
      ‘70 percent of clubbers suffer dullness of hearing or ringing in the ears’
      • ‘It felt a bit like being drunk but without the dullness
      • ‘Data from human studies indicate that decompression at 1,000 feet/minute results in excitement and euphoria, followed by sensory dullness, weakness, and unconsciousness.’
      • ‘Three-quarters of party-goers who throng nightclubs on a regular basis experience ringing in their ears or dullness of hearing afterwards.’
      • ‘Keenly mortified by the dullness of his senses and instincts, he knew he was no companion for Swinburne.’
      • ‘Percussion revealed dullness at the base of the right lung.’