Dull (?), a. [Compar. Duller (?); superl. Dullest.] [AS. dol foolish; akin to gedwelan to err, D. dol mad, dwalen to wander, err, G. toll mad, Goth. dwals foolish, stupid, cf. Gr. turbid, troubled, Skr. dhvr to cause to fall. Cf. Dolt, Dwale, Dwell, Fraud.]


Slow of understanding; wanting readiness of apprehension; stupid; doltish; blockish.

"Dull at classical learning."


She is not bred so dull but she can learn. Shak.


Slow in action; sluggish; unready; awkward.

This people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing. Matt. xiii. 15.

O, help my weak wit and sharpen my dull tongue. Spenser.


Insensible; unfeeling.

Think me not So dull a devil to forget the loss Of such a matchless wife. Beau. & Fl.


Not keen in edge or point; lacking sharpness; blunt.

"Thy scythe is dull."



Not bright or clear to the eye; wanting in liveliness of color or luster; not vivid; obscure; dim; as, a dull fire or lamp; a dull red or yellow; a dull mirror.


Heavy; gross; cloggy; insensible; spiritless; lifeless; inert.

"The dull earth."


As turning the logs will make a dull fire burn, so changes of study a dull brain. Longfellow.


Furnishing little delight, spirit, or variety; uninteresting; tedious; cheerless; gloomy; melancholy; depressing; as, a dull story or sermon; a dull occupation or period; hence, cloudy; overcast; as, a dull day.

Along life's dullest, dreariest walk. Keble.

Syn. -- Lifeless; inanimate; dead; stupid; doltish; heavy; sluggish; sleepy; drowsy; gross; cheerless; tedious; irksome; dismal; dreary; clouded; tarnished; obtuse. See Lifeless.


© Webster 1913.

Dull, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Duller (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Dulling.]


To deprive of sharpness of edge or point.

"This . . . dulled their swords."


Borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry. Shak.


To make dull, stupid, or sluggish; to stupefy, as the senses, the feelings, the perceptions, and the like.

Those [drugs] she has Will stupefy and dull the sense a while. Shak.

Use and custom have so dulled our eyes. Trench.


To render dim or obscure; to sully; to tarnish.

"Dulls the mirror."



To deprive of liveliness or activity; to render heavy; to make inert; to depress; to weary; to sadden.

Attention of mind . . . wasted or dulled through continuance. Hooker.


© Webster 1913.

Dull, v. i.

To become dull or stupid.

Rom. of R.


© Webster 1913.

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