Definition of lull in US English:



[with object]
  • 1Calm or send to sleep, typically with soothing sounds or movements.

    ‘the rhythm of the boat lulled her to sleep’
    • ‘Jonathan's rhythmic breathing lulled her into a deep dreamless sleep.’
    • ‘The methodic rocking of the train and Harvey's steady hands lulled her overtaxed and sleep deprived mind into a deep slumber.’
    • ‘Her gentle voice can lull you into a state of meditation and nostalgia and then another song will make your toe start tapping.’
    • ‘Sitars fade into pianos into strings over languid hip-hop rhythms, lulling you not only into a sense of warmth and comfort, but also a feeling that you're living in the perpetual summer of your dreams.’
    • ‘The smell calmed my anxieties and fears and soon lulled me to sleep.’
    • ‘The tune lulls the listener in but never lets them quite relax.’
    • ‘Matt's even breathing was lulling her to sleep, but she forced herself to stay awake.’
    • ‘Birds lifted their voices into the air in a sweet cadence which could easily lull the listener to sleep.’
    • ‘The second movement, 'Andante', had a distinctively soothing feel, which lulled the audience.’
    • ‘Soon he found himself lulled into a light trance, a soft buzzing filling his mind.’
    • ‘They are so calm in movement and gesture that I was lulled into a stupor.’
    • ‘I closed my eyes, and felt myself being slowly lulled to sleep.’
    • ‘He chuckled and rubbed my arm gently, slowly lulling me back to sleep.’
    • ‘Closing his eyes, he concentrated on her touch and her movements soon lulled him to sleep.’
    • ‘The sound of the purring air conditioner almost lulled her into sleep again.’
    • ‘Claire, with the ease of an accomplished dentist soothing the nerves of a patient, took me by the hand, led me gently upstairs and lulled me into relaxing, outstretched on the chaise longue.’
    • ‘Edmund replied and closed his eyes with a sigh, falling into a deep sleep, lulled by the sound of the waves and Eleanor's voice.’
    • ‘Yet the story progresses so slowly that it threatens to lull the viewer to sleep.’
    • ‘The rustling leaves and calls of the night insects soon lulled her to sleep.’
    • ‘It is a life that can lull anyone into a peaceful sloth, deterring the person from doing anything at all.’
    soothe, quiet, hush, lullaby
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    1. 1.1 Cause (someone) to feel deceptively secure or confident.
      ‘the rarity of earthquakes there has lulled people into a false sense of security’
      • ‘Too often, the descriptions are imprecise, perhaps because of Johnson's overzealous desire to unleash sequence after sequence of arresting images, even if it means lulling us into uncertainty.’
      • ‘However, believers should not again be lulled into a false sense of security.’
      • ‘Aficionados will be lulled into a sense of security by the new season.’
      • ‘For a while it seemed that the government had quelled radical groups, but this has only lulled us into a sense of false security.’
      • ‘The US will not be lulled into complacency, or distracted by the feverish terrorist activity in Iraq.’
      • ‘The skiing was so smooth, I was lulled into a false sense of security, broken only when I saw Claudio waving his poles at me from below what looked like a stair-step in the mountain.’
      • ‘It's only a matter of time before we're all lulled into a false sense of security.’
      • ‘There are times I am lulled by familiarity, and I have spent time with people who are less than challenging.’
      • ‘It is one of the most basic placements, but this shouldn't lull you into a false sense of security or over confidence.’
      • ‘The design does exactly what it should: it lulls us into a false sense of security.’
      • ‘The size of the vehicle and its sheer momentum means you always seem to end up going faster than you think, and it never seems too stressed to handle the load, lulling you into a false sense of speed security.’
      • ‘We are lulled into at times a false sense of security and that's not right.’
      • ‘A combination of a milder climate and better and more reliable cars seem to have lulled us all into a sense of security which occasionally proves false.’
      • ‘As people with the smallest amount of stability, we're lulled into a false complacency.’
      • ‘Are we being lulled into a sense of false security?’
      • ‘Spending money on imaginary problems is worse than not spending at all: it lulls us into false security and it does nor identify and address important, real problems.’
      • ‘The story works like a spell or incantation, lulling you with plausible detail into accepting a slightly warped big picture.’
      • ‘This was the good part of the day - but don't let me lull you into a false sense of security.’
      • ‘The first half hour almost lulls you into a false sense of security.’
      • ‘Investors are lulled into a false sense of security and this is unfair.’
      assuage, allay, ease, alleviate, pacify, palliate, mitigate, placate, mollify
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    2. 1.2no object (of noise or a storm) abate or fall quiet.
      ‘conversation lulled for an hour’
      • ‘With difficulty, they squeezed their way up to the large drawing room to be announced; the buzz of many conversations lulling for a moment as the guests took in the dowager's rare public appearance.’
      • ‘The guests continued to chitchat through the meal, the conversation lulling to a dull murmur near the middle as they became full and rather sleepy.’
      • ‘When the conversation lulled, the Captain sat silently brooding over his cigarette, head bowed.’
      • ‘The general conversation lulled rather after Sergeant Wolfe entered and began to eat mechanically.’
      • ‘Our conversation lulled momentarily, and I finally thought to ask him the one question that should've been the most obvious to me.’
      • ‘Dana arrived just in time to witness Jeremy Devonshire's little fit, and she propped herself in the doorway to wait for the storm to lull.’
      • ‘Things were sort of sedate after that and the conversation lulled, then dropped off entirely.’
      • ‘It went on and on and on, lulling, then thundering down again.’
      • ‘After their mugs were emptied and the conversation lulled, Ava looked at him out of the corner of her eye.’
      • ‘The conversation lulled awhile, as all parties gave full attention to their food.’
      abate, die down, subside, let up, moderate, slacken, lessen, dwindle, decrease, diminish, ebb, fade away, wane, taper off, lower
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  • A temporary interval of quiet or lack of activity.

    ‘for two days there had been a lull in the fighting’
    • ‘With a relative lull looming, she knew she had to seize her chance.’
    • ‘After a proceedings lull, Celtic produced their fourth of the afternoon.’
    • ‘The talk faded to a momentary lull, and Matt seized his chance.’
    • ‘What did I do with conversation lulls before I could say ‘Shall I put the kettle on?’’
    • ‘It's the longest lull in this investigation since he started striking about three weeks ago?’
    • ‘The girl behind the counter in the shop was shutting up for the long afternoon lull.’
    • ‘Just before midnight after an especially malicious attack, a momentary lull ensues.’
    • ‘After a momentary lull, he and the others turned back and prayed even harder.’
    • ‘Life's been pretty quiet lately, here in the midst of the post-Christmas lull.’
    • ‘Between them, the three bombs have shattered the lull in violence that followed the poll.’
    • ‘Apart from a 10-minutes lull in the second quarter, Mayo were the better side throughout and led from start to finish.’
    • ‘Will waited for another lull in the activity outside the office before going back out.’
    • ‘There was a brief lull in the conversation as Casey searched for a parking lot.’
    • ‘There appeared to be a short lull in these activities after Christmas, but it has started up again.’
    • ‘Real naval warfare tends to involve long lulls between actual bouts of combat.’
    • ‘Jocelyn savored the silence; it's like the lull before a storm.’
    • ‘And sometimes it takes a lull in the violence to realize how serious it is.’
    • ‘Despite this temporary lull in visitation, the demographics of wilderness visitors continued to change.’
    • ‘Although optimism is running high, the current lull in violence is fragile.’
    • ‘During the film's occasional lulls in pacing, I kept myself occupied by wishing his character would die.’
    pause, respite, interval, break, hiatus, suspension, cessation, interlude, intermission, breathing space, moratorium, lacuna
    calm, calmness, stillness, quiet, quietness, tranquillity, peace, peacefulness, silence, hush
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Middle English: imitative of sounds used to quieten a child; compare with Latin lallare ‘sing to sleep’, Swedish lulla ‘hum a lullaby’, and Dutch lullen ‘talk nonsense’. The noun (first recorded in the sense ‘soothing drink’) dates from the mid 17th century.