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Dull   /dəl/   Listen
Dull

adjective
(compar. duller; superl. dullest)
1.
Lacking in liveliness or animation.  "A dull political campaign" , "A large dull impassive man" , "Dull days with nothing to do" , "How dull and dreary the world is" , "Fell back into one of her dull moods"
2.
Emitting or reflecting very little light.  "Dull silver badly in need of a polish" , "A dull sky"
3.
Being or made softer or less loud or clear.  Synonyms: muffled, muted, softened.  "Muffled drums" , "The muffled noises of the street" , "Muted trumpets"
4.
So lacking in interest as to cause mental weariness.  Synonyms: boring, deadening, ho-hum, irksome, slow, tedious, tiresome, wearisome.  "The deadening effect of some routine tasks" , "A dull play" , "His competent but dull performance" , "A ho-hum speaker who couldn't capture their attention" , "What an irksome task the writing of long letters is" , "Tedious days on the train" , "The tiresome chirping of a cricket" , "Other people's dreams are dreadfully wearisome"
5.
(of color) very low in saturation; highly diluted.
6.
Not keenly felt.  "Dull pain"
7.
Slow to learn or understand; lacking intellectual acuity.  Synonyms: dense, dim, dumb, obtuse, slow.  "Never met anyone quite so dim" , "Although dull at classical learning, at mathematics he was uncommonly quick" , "Dumb officials make some really dumb decisions" , "He was either normally stupid or being deliberately obtuse" , "Worked with the slow students"
8.
(of business) not active or brisk.  Synonyms: slow, sluggish.  "A sluggish market"
9.
Not having a sharp edge or point.
10.
Blunted in responsiveness or sensibility.  "So exhausted she was dull to what went on about her"
11.
Not clear and resonant; sounding as if striking with or against something relatively soft.  Synonym: thudding.  "Thudding bullets"
12.
Darkened with overcast.  Synonym: leaden.  "A dull sky" , "The sky was leaden and thick"



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"Dull" Quotes from Famous Books



... pity's sake subside, Nor thus o'erwhelm me with joy's rapid tide: My beating heart, oppress'd with woe and care, Has yet to learn such happiness to bear: From grief, distracting grief, thus high to soar, To know dull pain and misery no more, To hail each op'ning morn with new delight, To rest in peace and joy each happy night, To see my Lycidas from bondage free, Restored to life, to pleasure, and to me, To see him thus—adorn'd with virtue's charms, ...
— The Eventful History Of The Mutiny And Piratical Seizure - Of H.M.S. Bounty: Its Cause And Consequences • Sir John Barrow

... the gleam of water. It was a reservoir, he decided. Probably it constituted the water supply for a considerable section. And then, as he looked, he saw a flash—saw a great column of water rise in the air, and descend, like pictures of a cloudburst. A moment after the explosion, he heard a dull roar. And after the roar another sound. He saw the water fade out and disappear, and it was a moment before he realized what was happening. The reservoir had been blown up. And that meant more than the danger and the discomfort of an interrupted water supply. ...
— Facing the German Foe • Colonel James Fiske

... had not dwelt upon it except in her thoughts was nevertheless filled with a gently uplifting sense of race superiority. Her admiration of Rose was tinged with pity. Poor garden flower, confined for life to the dull walks and prim parterres of a fixed enclosure, when she might roam the wild paths of the forest; condemned to sleep in a close room, on stifling feathers, and bathe in an elongated tub, when she might feel the elasticity ...
— An Algonquin Maiden - A Romance of the Early Days of Upper Canada • G. Mercer Adam

... pace. For the first time in his life he felt himself superior to the people he passed. For the first time his soul revolted against the dull inelegance of Capel Street. There was no doubt about it: if you wanted to succeed you had to go away. You could do nothing in Dublin. As he crossed Grattan Bridge he looked down the river towards the lower quays and ...
— Dubliners • James Joyce

... tramp, tramp, the noise of hoofs mingling in a dull thud that sounded oddly in the stillness of the night to ...
— In the Pecos Country • Edward Sylvester Ellis (AKA Lieutenant R.H. Jayne)

... so independent," says a German woman whose dull silence I had hitherto taken for ill nature. "I'm glad enough to get the money. I was up this morning at five, working. There's myself and my mother and my little girl, and not a cent but what I make. My husband is sick. He's ...
— The Woman Who Toils - Being the Experiences of Two Gentlewomen as Factory Girls • Mrs. John Van Vorst and Marie Van Vorst

... with all their strength in the direction in which the island lay, but before they reached it sharp puffs of wind struck the water, and the steerage of the canoe became extremely difficult. Presently, however, they heard the sound of a dull roar, and knew that this was caused by the slow heaving swell, of which they were already sensible, ...
— Under Drake's Flag - A Tale of the Spanish Main • G. A. Henty

... tire the reader, by leading him through every scene of this courtship (which, though in the opinion of a certain great author, it is the pleasantest scene of life to the actor, is, perhaps, as dull and tiresome as any whatever to the audience), the captain made his advances in form, the citadel was defended in form, and at length, in proper form, ...
— The History of Tom Jones, a foundling • Henry Fielding

... have some conversation together;' and, with a bow of silent excuse to my little companion, I went across to the lame old lady. She acknowledged my coming with the prettiest gesture of thanks possible; and, half apologetically, said, 'It is a little dull to be unable to move about on such evenings as this; but it is a just punishment to me for my early vanities. My poor feet, that were by nature so small, are now taking their revenge for my cruelty in forcing them into ...
— Curious, if True - Strange Tales • Elizabeth Gaskell

... much to do to talk," replied Mrs. Libby, smoothing down her shining bands of hair before the hanging glass, and regarding her reflected large, white face and set smile, with dull satisfaction and vanity. "They're used to ...
— A Village Ophelia and Other Stories • Anne Reeve Aldrich

... he still leaned back in a dull, painful lethargy. A faint, disagreeable odor gradually pervaded the room, and at last attracted his attention. The luxurious sybarite could not help the stings of conscience, the odor he might. He ...
— What Can She Do? • Edward Payson Roe

... any day to hear that a marriage market had been opened on one of the plazas of Rome, the quotations of which would read something after this fashion: Husbands dull and declining; American beauties more active; foreign mammas less firm; American securities in great demand; the market in princes somewhat stronger; holders of titles much sought after; brains without money a drug in the market; "bogus" counts ...
— Punchinello, Vol. 1, No. 2, April 9, 1870 • Various

... pupils and their teachers with the necessary pictures, leaflets, and outline drawings of birds for colouring, over thirty-one million pages of printed information have been distributed. Pupils have taken hold of this bird study with great zest. Many a dull or inattentive boy, who had been a despair to his teacher and parents, responded to this real nature teaching which took him from his ordinarily uninteresting studies into the wide out of doors. Thousands ...
— The Bird Study Book • Thomas Gilbert Pearson

... and a drowsy numbness pains My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk, Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk: 'Tis not through envy of thy happy lot, But being too happy in thine happiness, That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees, In some melodious plot Of beechen green, and shadows numberless, ...
— Book of English Verse • Bulchevy

... innocent, but I must discharge you. Business is dull now, and I had decided to part with four of my cash-boys. I won't pass judgment upon you, ...
— The Cash Boy • Horatio Alger Jr.

... never made any especial effort to entertain her father that Maria could see. She was fond of fancy-work, and was embroidering a silk gown for herself. She embroidered while Harry read the paper. She did not talk much. Maria used to wonder that her father did not find it dull when he and She were alone together of an evening. She looked at him reading his paper, with frequent glances of admiration over it at his beautiful wife, and thought that in his place, she should much prefer a woman like her mother, who had kept things lively, even without company, and even ...
— By the Light of the Soul - A Novel • Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

... herself slightly in her eagerness; now she relaxed again with a sigh of relief. Creighton, a dull ache in his heart, waited for her to resume the conversation. He would ...
— The Monk of Hambleton • Armstrong Livingston

... set upon it, that Louis had never dared to let him know that for himself exile in Paris and the Riviera was vastly to be preferred to authority over a rocky island hung with fogs, and inhabited by dull merchants ...
— The King's Jackal • Richard Harding Davis

... that he seemed so modest? Was it because people's eyes—Mrs. Morrison's, Lady Shuttleworth's—had been so angry lately whenever they rested on her that his seemed so very kind? No; she did remember thinking them that, even being struck by them, when she saw him first in Kunitz. A dull red crept into her face when she remembered that day and what followed. "It isn't very snug," she said at last, trying to hide by a careful coldness of speech all the strange things she was feeling. "When it rains there are puddles by the ...
— The Princess Priscilla's Fortnight • Elizabeth von Arnim

... life he had led, for two years, he felt, on being released from drill, that life in a garrison town was dull and monotonous. The simple habits, in which he had been brought up, did not help him to enjoy heavy meals at regimental mess. Occasionally he and two or three other officers crossed to the mainland, and had some shooting in ...
— At the Point of the Bayonet - A Tale of the Mahratta War • G. A. Henty

... of defiance, and directly after thud, thud, thud, the dull heavy sounds of well-delivered blows, for the captain was a very truthful man: he said he hit hard, and he did, while his two officers showed that they were worthy pupils; and with such an example before them in the wild excitement ...
— Old Gold - The Cruise of the "Jason" Brig • George Manville Fenn

... completed, he put the paper into a pigeon-hole and forgot all about the matter. That day seemed to be more than usually dull and the hours to drag wearily on. He was conscious of a sort of suspense. He was waiting for something, or for someone. He did not choose to analyse this mental condition. Had he done so, the explanation was simple—and one that ...
— The Golden Scorpion • Sax Rohmer

... hairbrained youths, who would willingly anger him even now. He is still the great duellist of his day; the emaciated fingers might still find their old grip upon a sword hilt, the long, listless arm might perhaps once more shoot out with lightning speed, the dull eye might once again light up at the clash of steel. Peaceable, charitable when none are at hand to see him give, gravely gentle now in manner, Count Spicca is thought dangerous still. But he is indeed very lonely in his old age, and if the truth be ...
— Don Orsino • F. Marion Crawford

... been dropping for some five hours by Astronef time, one of them, uttering a sharp exclamation, pointed to an enormous rift about fifty miles away. A dull, red glare was streaming up out of it. The next moment the brown cloud-floor beneath them seemed to split up into enormous wreaths of vapour, which whirled up on all sides of them, and a few minutes later they caught their first glimpse ...
— A Honeymoon in Space • George Griffith

... with a violent exclamation he swung abruptly on his heel, flung the cigarette into the fire and left the room. He went upstairs slowly, surprised at the feeling of apathy that had come over him. In the face of direct action the high tension of the last few weeks had snapped, leaving him dull, almost inert, and reluctance to go forward grew with every step. But at the head of the stairs his mood changed suddenly. All that the coming interview meant to him revealed itself with startling clearness. With a deep breath he caught at the rail, for he was shaking ...
— The Shadow of the East • E. M. Hull

... in regard to the looks and business appearance of the country. It looked thinly settled, people scarce, and business dull. I could not get a day's work to do, and I could not go much farther on foot, for the snow was eight or ten inches deep, and I was still several hundred miles from my parents in Michigan. So my journey farther east was delayed until spring. The hunting ...
— Death Valley in '49 • William Lewis Manly

... was very low. Polly gazed anxiously at the dull red coals. The damper in the lower door had a bad habit of opening when it was jarred. ...
— Polly of Lady Gay Cottage • Emma C. Dowd

... should say so," the other admitted, "and during the night both Toby and myself were awakened by just the same sort of far-off dull roaring sound." ...
— Jack Winters' Campmates • Mark Overton

... what, Shatushka?" She shook her head. "You may be a very sensible man but you're dull. It's strange for me to look at all of you. I don't understand how it is people are dull. Sadness is not dullness. ...
— The Possessed - or, The Devils • Fyodor Dostoyevsky

... course, to find little interest in his monotonous movement. Indeed, I have heard many who live a short distance from town complain of this swinging backwards and forwards, or, rather, going forwards and backwards over the same ground every day, as dull and wearisome; but I cannot sympathise with them. On the contrary, I find that the more constantly any particular line of road is adhered to, the more intimate an acquaintance with it is formed, and the more ...
— A Walk from London to Fulham • Thomas Crofton Croker

... beat is strong, the first sound is dull, while the second, on the contrary, is sharp. It is evident that the apex has descended and is turned toward the armpit. There is some sclerosis, at least it is very probable. One may live twenty years with ...
— Doctor Pascal • Emile Zola

... society in the first volume of Charles V. Gibbon's incomparable powers of classification and description are wholly awanting. The fire of Napier's military pictures need not be looked for. What is usually complained of in Smollett, especially by his young readers, is, that he is so dull—the most fatal of all defects, and the most inexcusable in an historian. His heart was not in history, his hand was not trained to it; it is in "Roderick Random" or "Peregrine Pickle," not the continuation of Hume, that his powers are to ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Vol 58, No. 357, July 1845 • Various

... and black, wherefore it crept out again at the creaking door. A long, straight pencil of snow was flung through a chink, across the earthen floor and against the swaying Christmas-tree, on which the, presents, hanging in readiness for little Skeezucks, beat out a dull, monotonous clatter of tin and wood as ...
— Bruvver Jim's Baby • Philip Verrill Mighels

... the hands of genius, realism is apt to be dull. It gives us uninteresting photographs. There are times when we do not care so much for instruction as for amusement and recreation. This fact opens a legitimate field for the imaginative story-teller. There is to-day a decided reaction against realism in the form of what has been called ...
— Elementary Guide to Literary Criticism • F. V. N. Painter

... my dear, that I am going to criticise you. I am no judge of sewing,—never set a stitch in my life. It must be a dull way of spending time. Can't you ...
— Flora Lyndsay - or, Passages in an Eventful Life • Susan Moodie

... in the dull light of the misty afternoon, leaning against the solid carved table on which refreshments were spread, the old palace at Lucca rose up before her dyed with the ruddy tints of summer sunsets. She trod again in thought those mysterious rooms, shrouded in perpetual twilight. ...
— The Italians • Frances Elliot

... untiring patience tried to instil into this dull head the principles of logic, the elements of mathematics, and the rudiments of the mnemonic art; but the pupil hated study, and had no faculty of thought; yet he insisted that Bruno should make science clearly known to him! But ...
— The Heroic Enthusiasts,(1 of 2) (Gli Eroici Furori) - An Ethical Poem • Giordano Bruno

... kissing, because humanity had touched the garb; there were no longer any menial acts, but only welcome services.... Remember by how much man is the subtlest circumstance in the world; at how many points he can attach relationships; how manifold and perennial he is in his results. All other things are dull, ...
— Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 5 (of 6) • Havelock Ellis

... am thankful you came up," Cyril said, as they mounted and rode off. "Before you came we were all dull, and the Dame and Mistress Nellie somewhat tearful; Now we have gone off amidst smiles, which ...
— When London Burned • G. A. Henty

... scanted in a dull cage Man's mounting spirit in his bone-house, mean house, dwells— That bird beyond the remembering his free fells; This in ...
— Poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins - Now First Published • Gerard Manley Hopkins

... of the great clumsy vehicle, placed a foot on one of the spokes, and was in the act of drawing himself up to climb in, but suddenly let himself drop back, for something leaped out of the interior of the waggon right over his cousin, reaching the earth with a dull thud, and ...
— Dead Man's Land - Being the Voyage to Zimbambangwe of certain and uncertain • George Manville Fenn

... a village situate between Salamanca and Medina del Campo. My father is a tailor, as I have said, and taught me his trade; but from cutting with the scissors I proceeded—my natural abilities coming in aid—to the cutting of purses. The dull, mean life of the village, and the unloving conduct of my mother-in-law, were besides but little to my taste. I quitted my birthplace, therefore, repaired to Toledo to exercise my art, and succeeded in it to ...
— The Exemplary Novels of Cervantes • Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

... had in the environs of Ville d'Avray a very beautiful place, with park and coverts and a stream for fishing; but as I was alone I found it dull, and several of these ladies and gentlemen said to me, 'Madame Louchard, why don't you organize parties in the ...
— The Lesser Bourgeoisie • Honore de Balzac

... Hannah, the one servant, was often heard to object to this arrangement. She gave solid reasons for her objections, declaring roundly that human nature was far more agreeable to her than any part of the vegetable kingdom; but though Hannah found her small kitchen rather dull, and never during the years she stayed with them developed the slightest taste for the beauties of Nature, she was sincerely attached to the Mainwaring girls, and took ...
— The Palace Beautiful - A Story for Girls • L. T. Meade

... misapprehensions and injustice that had blighted his school career, be kept beneath boys with half his ability, and without generous feeling, and find all his attainments useless in restoring his position. Dr. Hoxton's dull scholarship would chill all pleasure in his studies—there would be no companionship among the boys—even his supporters, Ernescliffe and Larkins, were gone, and Harry would leave him ...
— The Daisy Chain, or Aspirations • Charlotte Yonge

... to lofty creations of genius. Men were absorbed in passing events; and literary men generally pandered to the vile taste of the people, or stooped to adulate the monsters whom they feared. Hunting and hawking furnished subjects for the muse of the poets. History was reduced to dull and dry abridgments, and still drier commentaries. The people sought scandalous anecdotes, or demoralizing sketches, or frothy poetry. The decline in letters, like the decline in art, kept pace with the public ...
— The Old Roman World • John Lord

... Jimmy and again a gleam of hope shone on his dull features. He had heard that waiters were often to be bribed. "Nice fellow, Henri," he ventured cautiously. "Gets ...
— Baby Mine • Margaret Mayo

... rain: the wind in the east, fretful and cold. All morning long she rocked the child in her arms: now softly singing to him—now vainly seeking to win a smile—now staring vacantly into the mist, dreaming dull dreams, while he ...
— Doctor Luke of the Labrador • Norman Duncan

... In what manner? Lord, Maister Sidney, how can you be so dull? Why, how is any man cured of his love till a wench, but by ganging to bed till her? ...
— The Man Of The World (1792) • Charles Macklin

... but the reign of twilight had not yet commenced. After a blustering morning, a sudden stillness had fallen upon the earth. The wild north wind had ceased its moaning in the pine trees, and no longer came booming across the level moorland. The dull gray clouds which all day long had been driven across the leaden sky in flying haste, hung low down upon the sad earth, and from over the water a sea fog rose to meet them. Nature had nothing more cheerful to offer than silence, a dim light, ...
— The New Tenant • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... piqued me, and I saw him with prejudiced eyes. At any rate, he seemed to me a singularly unprepossessing youth. That portrait had flattered him. He had a stout body and a round, unwholesome face. His eyes were dull, and his mouth dropped discontentedly. He had the air of one who is surfeited ...
— The Little Nugget • P.G. Wodehouse

... stomach. Thus hunger and thirst, whatever delight they may afford while we are eating and drinking, pass both away from us with the plate and the cup; and though we should imitate the Romans, if, indeed, they were such dull beasts, which I can scarce believe, to unload the belly like a dung-pot, in order to fill it again with another load, yet would the pleasure be so considerably lessened that it would scarce repay us the trouble ...
— Journal of A Voyage to Lisbon • Henry Fielding

... brilliant but indolent; the other though dull, industrious. They set out for the goal of fame with equal opportunities. Before they died the brilliant one was detected in seventy languages as the author of but two or three books of fiction and poetry, while the other was honoured in the Bureau of Statistics of his native land as ...
— Fantastic Fables • Ambrose Bierce

... went back to her chair with a grave face, and for a while they sat again in silence. The fire was burning now a little dull, and about the room were sober shadows. John fell again to handling trifles from the work-basket and the drawer, lifting each to look at it carefully, and laying it ...
— The Second Class Passenger • Perceval Gibbon

... changed. He became alert and watchful. He had heard a dull splash. Thinking that some tree had been swept into the flood, he sought to pierce the darkness that lay along the shore. Five or six minutes passed as the raft glided along without sound. He was about to relapse into his former attitude of listless ...
— The Prodigal Judge • Vaughan Kester

... their uncle's earnestness, felt even something of a hidden motive that he had; and the visit, usually rather dreaded, became the visit of their lives instead. It was Aunt Sophia this time who seemed discouraging and dull. ...
— The Man Whom the Trees Loved • Algernon Blackwood

... and British men in the prime of life have been miserably slain and lie in obscure graves of which the enemy now is the guardian, while others writhe in the agony of lingering wounds or sullenly brood over their fate in the dull routine of military prisons. In every part of the warring countries mothers weep over the sons they shall see no more, and wives over the husbands snatched from them forever. In many a mansion, in many a comfortable home, in many a peasant's cottage, the empty chair is eloquent ...
— America's War for Humanity • Thomas Herbert Russell

... His eyes were dull, his forehead creased with wrinkles. He seemed to be reflecting and did not appear to reck that Suzanne was there so close to him, her ...
— The Frontier • Maurice LeBlanc

... faculties, and for some time deprived me of the power of articulation. Fortunately, the person on the stage with me had to begin the scene, which allowed me time to collect myself. I went, however, mechanically dull through the business of the evening, and, notwithstanding the cheering expressions and applause of the audience, I was ...
— Beaux and Belles of England • Mary Robinson

... Diuny M'Divitt; He wore a most beautiful ring That were filed round his wrist wid a rivet. 'Twas the judge, shure, that sintinced him there, An' there all the boys wint til view him, For the jury considhered him dull At discernin' twixt "mayum" and "chuum." So fill up for the toast an' I'll give it: Here's a health ...
— A Castle in Spain - A Novel • James De Mille

... this human wretchedness was the elaborate work of one man—one dull, heartless bigot, living, far away, a life of laborious ease and solemn sensuality; and, in reality, almost as much removed from these fellow-creatures of his, whom he called his subjects, as if he had been the inhabitant of another planet. ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... way toward the three-quarter mark, and still no sign of the sprightly stranger. Lights were gleaming behind the yellow shades of the downstairs window in the cottage; through the Japanese curtains enveloping the veranda a dull, restricted glow forced its way ...
— Anderson Crow, Detective • George Barr McCutcheon

... entrance by the same means as before. He then went on to state that he remained in the Palace the whole of Tuesday night, all Wednesday, and up to one o'clock on Thursday morning, when the inquisitive youth was captured. He was not satisfied with this dull and prosaic account of his entry; but, on the following day, he tried to invent something marvellous, and alleged that he ascended the roof of the Palace, and got down the chimney; but there were no marks of soot on his person, and his first story ...
— Gossip in the First Decade of Victoria's Reign • John Ashton

... for they had learnt a great deal in France, while the English had forgotten much of what Alfred and his sons had taught them, and all through the long, sad reign of Ethelred had been getting more dull, and clumsy and rude. Moreover, they had learnt of the Danes to be sad drunkards; but both they and the Danes thought the Norman French fine gentlemen, and could not bear ...
— Young Folks' History of England • Charlotte M. Yonge

... Militant if ever any one did, and dearly loved to belabor his enemies with the spiritual weapons too heavy for any but him to handle. Well, it was a temptation to let something fly, be it Bible or brickbat, at the head of the average dullard. How was it that some people did not find the average man dull? There was Winifred Anstice, for instance,—she seemed to find something interesting in every one she met. Perhaps because she did not try to approach them on the intellectual side at all, but took them into her sympathies and soothed their troubles, as he remembered ...
— Flint - His Faults, His Friendships and His Fortunes • Maud Wilder Goodwin

... Tim presently, "is a bit dull, if you ask me. I came out for some excitement. Let's ...
— Left Guard Gilbert • Ralph Henry Barbour

... silent, looking down on her with dull, aching eyes, as he said to himself it was perhaps for the last time. It was the last time she would ever see him as her good son. With her, in her heart and memory, all his life dwelt; she knew the whole of it, with no break or interruption. Only this one hidden ...
— Cobwebs and Cables • Hesba Stretton

... the dull red glow from a tiny fire gone to coals showed us two Indian sentries set to keep the pass. Dick drew his claymore, but he was chilling again and the hand that grasped the great blade was shaking as with a palsy. Yet he ...
— The Master of Appleby • Francis Lynde

... you a little news from this side of the water, and then finish. As for us, we are plodding on in the dull road of peace and politics. We, who live in these ends of the earth, only hear of the rumors of war like the roar of distant thunder. It is to be hoped that our remote local situation will prevent us from being swept ...
— The Best of the World's Classics, Restricted to Prose, Vol. IX (of X) - America - I • Various

... allows us fine weather for the Regatta. "But when it du break up, after this yer logie [dull, hazy, calm] spell, look out!" ...
— A Poor Man's House • Stephen Sydney Reynolds

... up with paper. There were only two people who pretended not to hear it, the gentleman who played the American organ and the lady who dreamt of going to Warsaw. When the neighbours asked them, he shrugged his shoulders, and she sighed and said: 'We should like to sell, it's dull living in the country, but my father in Warsaw has not yet ...
— Selected Polish Tales • Various

... dull, my uncle. This is my meaning: that I will marry Nada if she still lives, for it comes upon me now that I have never loved any woman as I love Nada the Lily," and while he spoke, I heard the rat stir in the ...
— Nada the Lily • H. Rider Haggard

... in safety, and the special was approaching a third, when to Ford, track-watching even more anxiously than Hector, a dull red spot appeared in the exact center of the white field of the electric. For a moment it puzzled him, but the explanation came with a vigorous shock an instant later. It was the oil-lamp headlight of ...
— Empire Builders • Francis Lynde

... lighthouse was enveloped in flames nearly to the bottom, for the outside planking, being caulked and covered with pitch, was very inflammable. The top glowed against the dark sky and looked in the midst of the smoke like a fiery meteor. The Eddystone Rock was suffused with a dull red light, as if it were becoming red hot, and the surf round it appeared to hiss against the fire, while in the dark shadow of the cave the three lighthouse keepers were seen cowering in terror,—as they well might, seeing that melted ...
— The Story of the Rock • R.M. Ballantyne

... and was grateful to you. I liked you for correcting my faults as a spoiled child, for enlarging my mind, for teaching me to appreciate all that is beautiful, elevated and noble; and all, too, in a joking way by making fun of everything that is ugly and worthless and of everything that is dull or mean and cowardly. You taught me how to play ball and how to endure being bored to death with imbeciles. I have to thank you for much of what I think about, for much of what I am and for a little of any good there is in me. I wanted to pay my debt with a true and lasting friendship, and ...
— Rene Mauperin • Edmond de Goncourt and Jules de Goncourt

... sits all the evening, talking with daddy and looking at Elinor. Poor hand at talking, though,—so dull and heavy both in looks and words. I wonder what countryman he is. Very dark and thick-set. That doesn't seem like any country in particular. Captain Welles would know; for his father picked him up among the wharves in London, a ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 18, No. 108, October, 1866 • Various

... with a great cart-wheel of a Leghorn hat, drooping in all the right places, and wreathed with pink roses. She was a tall woman with a long neck, therefore could well wear such a hat; and it framed her head like an immense halo of dull gold. Her hair was brown with red lights in it, and her eyes were of exactly the same shade, the colour of ripe chestnuts. She had a beautiful short, rather square face, of a creamy paleness; a square, low forehead, straight dark brows, drawn ...
— The Guests Of Hercules • C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson

... little scream of delight and cried "Oh!" and "How priceless!" and something that sounded like "Goblins!" But though Oscar looked hard at the curtains to find the goblins, he saw none. Then his eyes strayed over the polished floor and the dull-hued rugs, over ebony and ivory cabinets and stiff-backed chairs, to be fixed, finally, by a huge ...
— The Junior Classics Volume 8 - Animal and Nature Stories • Selected and arranged by William Patten

... with a dull intentness at the ground between his feet. "It's an old story, and the less said about it the better. I can't discuss it with you or any one. I think it was a pity you took the trouble to watch me ...
— The Way of an Eagle • Ethel M. Dell

... elevated points, looked round frequently to feast his eyes with the ever-changing landscape. Descending the mountain, the detachment seemed to be swallowed up in the steaming river, like the army of Pharaoh, and anon, with a dull sound, the bayonets glittered again from the misty waves. Then appeared heads, shoulders; the men seemed to grow up, and then leaping up the rocks, were lost ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCXXXII. - June, 1843.,Vol. LIII. • Various

... dear grandma is buried here;" remarked her sister, "and because of all those dear graves. Mamma, I do like those lessons I was speaking of, and so do Eddie and Vi; but Herbert and Meta and Harry don't; they say they think them very stupid and dull." ...
— Elsie's Motherhood • Martha Finley

... anything was pulling up on the bit and doing something or talking of doing something or other for the country. It was already assured that the season would be insufferably dull—from a social standpoint at least. Evelyn could not suppress a certain resentment. She was not one of those who had found an element of thrill in the suddenly altered perspectives. Her plans for the spring season had been laid; engagements ...
— The Best Short Stories of 1917 - and the Yearbook of the American Short Story • Various

... young girls have a dull time of it till they are married, when 'Vive la liberte!' becomes their motto. In America, as everyone knows, girls early sign the declaration of independence, and enjoy their freedom with republican zest, but the young matrons usually abdicate with the ...
— Little Women • Louisa May Alcott

... yourself,' he replied. 'And, Catherine, don't think or say that I'm very unwell: it is the heavy weather and heat that make me dull; and I walked about, before you came, a great deal for me. Tell uncle I'm in ...
— Wuthering Heights • Emily Bronte

... she said presently, and as though en passant, "I have dismissed Tardif to-day—I hope you won't mind these dull domestic ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... His first "struggle of life" was apparently with ill-health, and the career he looked forward to was a speedy journey to another world. In a letter to a friend (November, 1772) he writes: "I am too dull and infirm now to look out for extraordinary things in this world, for I think my sensations for many months have intimated to me not to expect a long or healthy life; though it may be better with me after some time; but I hardly dare expect it, and therefore have little spirit or elasticity ...
— James Madison • Sydney Howard Gay

... In the early morning he seemed to have more leisure; at that time, the happy young couple stood one each side of the nest, and the silent listener would hear the gentle murmurs of what Victor Hugo calls "the airy dialogues of the nest." Ah, that our dull ...
— Little Brothers of the Air • Olive Thorne Miller

... ever dull and idle," Said the boy, "no wisdom thou'lt attain to; See, I'll straightway paint for thee a figure,— How to paint a ...
— The Poems of Goethe • Goethe

... been found. Vases, the Etruscan origin of which can not be disputed, have been found at Volterra, Tarquinii (Corneto), Perugia, Orvieto, Viterbo, Aquapendente, and other towns of ancient Etruria. The clay of which they are made is of a pale or reddish yellow, the varnish is dull, the workmanship rather rude, the ornaments are devoid of taste and elegance, and the style of the figures possesses all those characteristics already assigned to that of the Etruscans. The figures are drawn in black on the natural color of the clay; sometimes a little red is ...
— Museum of Antiquity - A Description of Ancient Life • L. W. Yaggy

... say it has got about through Wild Rose,' he continued. 'She was immensely tickled when I told her. I'm afraid she must have been feeling rather dull all these days, by ...
— The Talking Horse - And Other Tales • F. Anstey

... the roses out of her hair with impatience, "this is my son's work, not yours. But he will soon forget you. Eat this black bread if you are hungry, and refresh your dull mind with sleep. To-morrow you ...
— Good Stories For Great Holidays - Arranged for Story-Telling and Reading Aloud and for the - Children's Own Reading • Frances Jenkins Olcott

... was going to a match at lord's, and it looked rather dull, so mother told me I'd better take a gamp. I said it wasn't going to rain, and took my cane, but I had just got on the top of a bus when down came the rain in bucketfuls and I tell you I was ...
— A Dominie in Doubt • A. S. Neill

... them thus early to pass a right judgment upon persons and things, and to inform themselves of the abilities or defects of their countrymen. If they had not an answer ready to the question, Who was a good or who an ill-reputed citizen? they were looked upon as of a dull and careless disposition, and to have little or no sense of virtue and honor; besides this, they were to give a good reason for what they said, and in as few words and as comprehensive as might be; he that failed of this, or ...
— The Boys' and Girls' Plutarch - Being Parts of The "Lives" of Plutarch • Plutarch

... strongly, so frank and boyish and lovable were his glances and his words. But she was vaguely afraid of herself, and though the long ride at the moment seemed hard and dull, the thought of her mother waiting ...
— The Forester's Daughter - A Romance of the Bear-Tooth Range • Hamlin Garland

... 732. "He will find all, or most of them, comprized in the Exercises."—British Gram., Pref., p. v. "A quick and ready habit of methodising and regulating their thoughts."—Ib., p. xviii. "To tyrannise over the time and patience of his reader."—Kirkham's Elocution, p. iii. "Writers of dull books, however, if patronised at all, are rewarded beyond their deserts."—Ib., p. v. "A little reflection, will show the reader the propriety and the reason for emphasising the words marked."—Ib., p. 163. "The English ...
— The Grammar of English Grammars • Goold Brown

... quite disconnected from the sense of his past and which was literally beginning there and then. It had begun in fact already upstairs and before the dressing glass that struck him as blocking further, so strangely, the dimness of the window of his dull bedroom; begun with a sharper survey of the elements of Appearance than he had for a long time been moved to make. He had during those moments felt these elements to be not so much to his hand as he should have liked, and then had fallen back on ...
— The Ambassadors • Henry James

... is the longest number on the programme. I would dearly love the next number, also, but I must not make the evening too dull and prosy for you. Will you trust me to select your partner for ...
— Dick Prescott's Second Year at West Point - Finding the Glory of the Soldier's Life • H. Irving Hancock

... kept in mind in caring for the plants, and every effort made to secure, as far as possible, the first named conditions and to avoid the latter. The frames, whether they be covered with sash or cloth, but more particularly if with sash in sunshine and with curtains in dull days, should be opened so as to prevent their becoming too hot, and so as to admit air. And in a greenhouse full ventilation should be given whenever it is possible to do so without exposure to too low a temperature. If the plants are in boxes and on greenhouse shelves, it is ...
— Tomato Culture: A Practical Treatise on the Tomato • William Warner Tracy

... of the barrow and started forward resolutely. As I rounded the curve of the alley, a densely-packed throng appeared ahead. Faces turned towards me and broke into grins; the murmur rose into a dull roar, and, as the people drew aside to make way for me, I plunged into the heart of the throng and raised my voice in a ...
— The Uttermost Farthing - A Savant's Vendetta • R. Austin Freeman

... candid, far from being a clever fellow, is one of the most barren rascals on record. Vampyre, whether drawn out or held in, is a poor creature, not a great creature—opaque, not luminous—in a word, by nature, a very dull dog indeed. ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 1, August 21, 1841 • Various

... up with the best, who well deserves a halter: though it has not been without its retributive operation, for this smartness has done more in a few years to impair the public credit, and to cripple the public resources, than dull honesty, however rash, could have effected in a century. The merits of a broken speculation, or a bankruptcy, or of a successful scoundrel, are not gauged by its or his observance of the golden rule, 'Do as you would be done by', but are considered ...
— Contributions to All The Year Round • Charles Dickens

... One dull, wintry afternoon as she pressed close to the window, to catch the fading light on the page of her Bible, it chanced to be the chapter in St. Luke, which contained the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican; and while she read, a great ...
— At the Mercy of Tiberius • August Evans Wilson

... hock, but not too high—barely the slender shankbone. Then go all over the ham with a dull knife, scraping off every bit of removable grease or soilure. Wipe afterward with a coarse, damp cloth, then lay in a dishpan and cover an inch deep with cold water. If the water is very hard soften by adding a tiny pinch of baking soda. Leave in soak all night. In the morning ...
— Dishes & Beverages of the Old South • Martha McCulloch Williams

... surprising. One is disposed to say on occasion, "That boy of yours is a genius, and he is certain to do great things when he grows up;" but past experience has taught us that he invariably becomes quite an ordinary citizen. It is so often the case, on the contrary, that the dull boy becomes a great man. You never can tell. Nature loves to present to us these queer paradoxes. It is well known that those wonderful "lightning calculators," who now and again surprise the world by their feats, lose all their mysterious powers directly they are taught the elementary ...
— Amusements in Mathematics • Henry Ernest Dudeney

... will never tell the story! Being English, you were such dull-witted fools that you did not even hide the cartridge cases, or the bones of the Masai you shot! Bah-ha-ha-ha-hah! You can escape hanging yet by telling your secret. Jail you can not escape! Try it if you don't believe me! Try ...
— The Ivory Trail • Talbot Mundy

... of dull despair, and so manifest was his lack of ginger and the spirit that wins to success that for an instant, I confess, I felt a bit stymied. It seemed hopeless to go on trying to steam up such a human jellyfish. Then I saw the way. With that extraordinary ...
— Right Ho, Jeeves • P. G. Wodehouse

... these isolated lumps of limestone hewn out into high points, with steep cliffs, not to the windward, but to the leeward? What made the steep cliff at the south end of Punta Grande, on which a mangrove swamp now abuts? No trade-surf, no current capable of doing that work, has disturbed the dull waters of the 'Golfo Triste,' as the Spaniards named the Gulf of Paria, since the land was of anything like its present shape. And gradually we began to dream of a time when the Bocas did not exist; when the Spanish Main was joined to the northern mountains of the island by dry land, now ...
— At Last • Charles Kingsley

... A dull, damp November day was losing itself in the sombre twilight, when Edward Claire left the store of Mr. Melleville, and took his way homeward. An errand for his wife led him past his old place of business. As he moved along the street, opposite, he noticed a new sign over ...
— True Riches - Or, Wealth Without Wings • T.S. Arthur

... close enough he hurled the stone at the wolves, and a dull thud, followed by a shrill, dog-like howl of pain, told him that he had countered on the rib plate of one of the nasty brutes. Then he let out a wild yell, and three of the wolves turned ...
— Ted Strong in Montana - With Lariat and Spur • Edward C. Taylor

... a river, Close beside a frozen river, Sat an old man, sad and lonely. White his hair was as a snow-drift; Dull and low his fire was burning, And the old man shook and trembled, Folded in his Waubewyon, In his tattered white-skin-wrapper, Hearing nothing but the tempest As it roared along the forest, Seeing nothing but the snow-storm, As it whirled and hissed and drifted. All the coals were white with ashes, ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

... laid 'em from chair to chair, so 's everybody had a seat; 'n' then, 's folks come in, he had Billy hand 'em each a fan with his advertisement on one side 'n' two rows o' readin' on the other, so 's no one got dull waitin'. ...
— Susan Clegg and Her Neighbors' Affairs • Anne Warner

... once I felt involuntary terrors as I heard overhead the dull hum of the wings of some hurrying wood-pigeon. The earth is dank; you must be on the watch for lizards, vipers, and frogs, wandering about with the wild freedom of nature; above all, you must have no fear of cold, for in a few moments you feel ...
— La Grande Breteche • Honore de Balzac

... could quite easily recognize Sabine. Nothing could be simpler, and there would be no scandal, and he would be sure of things one way or the other. It was only necessary to stay where he was. Among all the confused feelings which had been agitating him he now merely felt a dull need of certain knowledge. But sheer weariness and vacancy began lulling him to sleep under his doorway, and by way of distraction he tried to reckon up how long he would have to wait. Sabine was to be at the station toward nine o'clock; that meant about four hours and a half more. ...
— Nana, The Miller's Daughter, Captain Burle, Death of Olivier Becaille • Emile Zola

... rather than in the science itself; for it would be unreasonable to suppose that a subject which occupies the earliest attention of the parent, which is acquired at great expense of money, time, and thought, and is employed from the cradle to the grave, in all our waking hours, can possibly be dull or unimportant, ...
— Lectures on Language - As Particularly Connected with English Grammar. • William S. Balch

... trapped, an' so he went out under the plum tree, where the stun was, an' begun t' turn. The scythe was dull an' the young feller bore on harder'n wuz reely decent fer a long time. Rat begun ...
— Eben Holden - A Tale of the North Country • Irving Bacheller

... allow our time to be taken up by all the dull-heads who come and offer their services. But now you and I have to talk, and talk very ...
— The Lesser Bourgeoisie • Honore de Balzac

... not over-cheerfully, of what you shall do when you get there. You are half-tired, half-ashamed, of making one more in the ignoble army of idlers, who saunter about the cliffs, and sands, and quays; to whom every wharf is but a "wharf of Lethe," by which they rot "dull as the oozy weed." You foreknow your doom by sad experience. A great deal of dressing, a lounge in the club-room, a stare out of the window with the telescope, an attempt to take a bad sketch, a walk up one parade and down another, interminable ...
— Glaucus; or The Wonders of the Shore • Charles Kingsley

... first time she had entered this bedroom. Just married, in the full flush of her new-found happiness, it had all seemed so beautiful, so ideal. The dull pink color scheme, so chaste and delicate, the gracefully carved furniture, so luxurious and elegant, the cupids flying above the massive beautifully carved bed, a veritable bower of love—all this seemed only a realization of her girlhood ...
— The Mask - A Story of Love and Adventure • Arthur Hornblow

... too, the sky was dull and gloomy. The Puritans were in no greater favour than they had been, though the Papists were at the lowest ebb. That there was any inconsistency in their conduct did not apparently occur to the authorities, nor that the true way to repress Popery was by cultivating Puritanism. Believing ...
— It Might Have Been - The Story of the Gunpowder Plot • Emily Sarah Holt

... conflict, it would seem, can make no impression upon him save it be colossal. When his men combat, not nature, but other men, they carry over into the business the gigantic method of sailors battling with a tempest. "The Secret Agent" and "Under Western Eyes" fill the dull back streets of London and Geneva with pursuits, homicides and dynamitings. "Nostromo" is a long record of treacheries, butcheries and carnalities. "A Point of Honor" is coloured by the senseless, insatiable ...
— A Book of Prefaces • H. L. Mencken

... worked upon the redoubt which had been located under counsel of Gridley, Prescott, Knowlton, and other officers, the dull thud of the pickaxe and the grating of shovels were the only sounds that disturbed the pervading silence, except as the sentries' "All's well!" from Copp's Hill and from the warships, relieved anxiety and stimulated work. Prescott and Putnam alike, and more than once, visited the beach, ...
— The Bay State Monthly, Volume 1, Issue 5, May, 1884 - A Massachusetts Magazine • Various

... into Julia's face a wave of colour—not the pink of pleasure, but the dull red of pain. She looked away from Sadie's eyes and down at her shabby boots. The sullen look was in her ...
— Cheerful—By Request • Edna Ferber

... half-way house where one comes to rest a little between two prolonged absences; it isn't a good place to stay. As it has no soul, it does not speak to yours. Time to eat and sleep, and then off again! Otherwise you become as dull ...
— The Simple Life • Charles Wagner

... divergence between Moslem and Christian feeling. Rajah Dris lives in a good house, but it is Europeanized, and consequently vulgarized. He received us very politely on the stairs, and took us into a sitting- room in which there were various ill-assorted European things. His senior wife was brought in, a dull, heavy-looking woman, a daughter of the Rajah Muda Yusuf, and after her a number of slave women and babies, till the small room was well filled. The Rajah hospitably entertained us with tea, milk, and preserved ...
— The Golden Chersonese and the Way Thither • Isabella L. Bird (Mrs. Bishop)

... own advantage, and for protection against oppression, and strikes may, though in very rare cases, be a painful necessity. It must be borne in mind that there can be no fixed standard of wages. Wages must vary with the state of the markets. Men must be ready to accept lower wages when trade is dull, they must bear their share of the depression as well as the masters, and the true principle is for men and masters, or if you like the expression better, capital and labour to go hand in hand. The success or ruin of the one is the success or ruin of the other. There are of course cases of grasping ...
— Boys - their Work and Influence • Anonymous

... known by the great Captain Cook. It was in the standing orders of the ship, that on every fine day the deck below and the cockpits should be cleared, washed, aired with stoves, and sprinkled with vinegar. On wet and dull days they were cleaned and aired without washing. Care was taken to prevent the people from sleeping upon deck, or lying down in their wet clothes; and once in every fortnight or three weeks, as ...
— A Source Book Of Australian History • Compiled by Gwendolen H. Swinburne

... Temple of Solomon could not have been more grand. She could scarcely believe Mrs. Delano was wealthy. "She's a beautiful lady," said she to Flora; "but if she's got plenty o' money, what makes her dress so innocent and dull? There's Missy Rosy now, when she's dressed for company, she looks ...
— A Romance of the Republic • Lydia Maria Francis Child

... sound,—a dull reverberating sound. It seemed to Miss Terry to come from neither north, south, east, nor west, but from a different world. Ah! She recognized it now. It was somebody knocking on ...
— The Christmas Angel • Abbie Farwell Brown

... command of themselves, and, forgetting how to behave, sought to please God with strange and childish gestures. On the other hand, Fabri noted some who stood quite unmoved, and merely mocked at the strange display: dull, unprofitable souls he calls them, brute beasts, not having the spirit of God. Their self-contained temperament misliked him, especially as thereafter they held aloof from those who had given way to such enthusiasm or, as they felt ...
— The Age of Erasmus - Lectures Delivered in the Universities of Oxford and London • P. S. Allen

... wool fibre, says with regard to boiling with water. "Wool which looked quite bright when well washed with tepid water, was decidedly duller when kept for some time in water at a temperature of 160 deg. F., and the same wool, when subjected to boiling water at 212 deg. F., became quite dull and lustreless. When tested for strength, the same fibres which carried on the average 500 grains without breaking before boiling, after boiling would not bear more than 480 grains." Hence this third enemy ...
— The Chemistry of Hat Manufacturing - Lectures Delivered Before the Hat Manufacturers' Association • Watson Smith

... if I do," he grumbled. "I have lost some money; the stock market is very dull. And nobody is buying real estate. I—I am quite at my wits' ends, I assure ...
— The Girl from Sunset Ranch - Alone in a Great City • Amy Bell Marlowe



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