Definition of dullness in US 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’
    • ‘He is daily enraged by the hectoring of his parents and the dullness of his paper-shuffling job.’
    • ‘In it he described with realism and satire the dullness of life in a small Midwestern town.’
    • ‘For the viewer or the reader, this can be a pleasant experience, a feeling of ease, without boredom or dullness.’
    • ‘The drama of his voice is diminished by the dullness of the musical setting.’
    • ‘Their ponderous dullness fails to convey either the excitement of intellectual exploration or its importance.’
    • ‘In this case, though, the group's consistency is due to the dullness of its music.’
    • ‘Another insider said the campaign reflected the dullness of political advertising in Ireland.’
    • ‘The Party's central organ, once the epitome of dullness, has had to brighten itself up to compete against more sprightly daily newspapers.’
    • ‘To tell the truth, my life was so complicated now, that I could use a little dullness.’
    • ‘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’
    • ‘The sky was bright, contrasting with the dullness of bare branches reaching towards it.’
    • ‘Most of the colors here are well rendered and bright, though there is a slight dullness in the picture at times.’
    • ‘Colors were appropriately subdued; even dark scenes avoided dullness for the most part, keeping browns and blacks relatively rich and true.’
    • ‘The colors are all vibrantly rendered without any dullness.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘As skin starts showing dullness and fine lines, choose a foundation that softens and camouflages flaws.’
    • ‘Hair care poses a big problem, for constant setting, colouring and blow-drying may easily result in dryness, dullness and lifelessness.’
    • ‘The angel's yellow sleeve and pink-accented wing and cheek animate the studied dullness of taupe vestments and pitch background.’
    • ‘He noticed the drag in Michael's step, the paleness of his usually dark face, and the dullness in his eyes.’
    • ‘In fact, teeth whitening may not work for some people at all, depending on whether the source of the dullness is external or intrinsic.’
  • 3The quality of being slow to understand; stupidity.

    ‘critical comments on the stupidity or dullness of those in authority’
    ‘dullness of comprehension’
    • ‘I think Republicans and Democrats are equally unintelligent, but Ted's recent antics have tipped the scales measuring mental dullness in the Democrats' favor.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Stupidity, density, foolishness, dullness; no matter how you name it, it does not exist!’
    • ‘In drama, a dullness has crept in because intellectualism isn't a word you're allowed to utter any more.’
    • ‘Many writers have commented on the brilliance of Trotsky and the dullness of Stalin.’
    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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Percussion revealed dullness at the base of the right lung.’
      • ‘Keenly mortified by the dullness of his senses and instincts, he knew he was no companion for Swinburne.’
      • ‘It felt a bit like being drunk but without the dullness