One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1‘he had a dismal look in his eyes’
gloomy, glum, mournful, melancholy, morose, doleful, woeful, woebegone, forlorn, abject, dejected, depressed, dispirited, downcast, crestfallen, despondent, disconsolate, miserable, sad, unhappy, sorrowful, sorrowing, desolate, wretched, lugubrious
informal blue, fed up, down in the dumps, down in the mouth, as sick as a parrot
2‘she led them into a dismal cavernous hall’
dingy, dim, dark, gloomy, sombre, dreary, drab, dull, desolate, bleak, cheerless, comfortless, depressing, grim, funereal, inhospitable, uninviting, unwelcoming
3‘the team have produced a string of dismal performances’
bad, poor, dreadful, awful, terrible, pitiful, disgraceful, lamentable, deplorable
inferior, mediocre, unsatisfactory, inadequate, second-rate, third-rate, shoddy, inept, bungling
crummy, dire, diabolical, bum, rotten, pathetic, lousy, poxy
British duff, rubbish, ropy, chronic, pants, a load of pants
vulgar slang crap, crappy, shitty
North American vulgar slang chickenshit
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