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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



... few sips of thin congee, and then once more lay herself down on her bed. But before the sun set, the weather unexpectedly changed, and a fine drizzling rain set in. So gently come the autumn showers that dull and fine are subject to uncertain alternations. The shades of twilight gradually fell on this occasion. The heavens too got so overcast as to look deep black. Besides the effect of this change on her mind, ...
— Hung Lou Meng, Book II • Cao Xueqin

... Environs. But tho' retired from almost all the World, (for we visit no one but the M'Leods, The M'Kenzies, the M'Phersons, the M'Cartneys, the M'Donalds, The M'kinnons, the M'lellans, the M'kays, the Macbeths and the Macduffs) we are neither dull nor unhappy; on the contrary there never were two more lively, more agreable or more witty girls, than we are; not an hour in the Day hangs heavy on our Hands. We read, we work, we walk, and when fatigued with these Employments releive ...
— Persuasion • Jane Austen

... *pon live* *alive Would on the best y-sounded jolly harp That ever was, with all his fingers five Touch ay one string, or *ay one warble harp,* *always play one tune* Were his nailes pointed ne'er so sharp, He shoulde maken ev'ry wight to dull* *to grow bored To hear his glee, ...
— The Canterbury Tales and Other Poems • Geoffrey Chaucer

... a star, or—something! it looks more like the moon rising; only there's no moon," said Morris, scrutinizing the small dull red glare that hung upon the skirts ...
— Ishmael - In the Depths • Mrs. E. D. E. N. Southworth

... dull you are! cannot you surmise the weakness which I hitherto, thro' shame have concealed even from you—must I confess that Charles—that Libertine, that extravagant, that Bankrupt in Fortune and Reputation—that He it is for whom ...
— The School For Scandal • Richard Brinsley Sheridan

... Russian, 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

... only the little We're Here." Then she would slide away chuckling softly to herself till she was brought up by some fresh obstacle. The dullest of folk cannot see this kind of thing hour after hour through long days without noticing it; and Harvey, being anything but dull, began to comprehend and enjoy the dry chorus of wave-tops turning over with a sound of incessant tearing; the hurry of the winds working across open spaces and herding the purple-blue cloud-shadows; the splendid upheaval ...
— "Captains Courageous" • Rudyard Kipling

... the delightful possibilities unfolding to his highly coloured imagination. There was going to be something doing now that would put an edge to this dull life. With what was equivalent to a lining up of forces and an open declaration of hostilities, with Red on the one hand pitted against the trio whom Dart called the Haymakers, with a murder mystery to untangle, a robbery to solve, and—not to be forgotten—Little ...
— The Short Cut • Jackson Gregory

... for already there was a throng before the door. The music had started up, and half a block away you could hear the dull "broom, broom" of a cello, with the squeaking of two fiddles which vied with each other in intricate and altitudinous gymnastics. Seeing the throng, Marija abandoned precipitately the debate concerning the ancestors of her coachman, and, springing from ...
— The Jungle • Upton Sinclair

... The rest go round like humming tops. Each in the circle with its neighbour Sharing alternate rest and labour; While many a gentle chaperon As the fair Dervises spin on, Sighs with regret that she was courted, Ere this new fashion was imported. Ere the dull minuet step had vanished, . With jigs and country ...
— Real Life In London, Volumes I. and II. • Pierce Egan

... luncheon my seat was next to Miss Thorn's, while the Celebrity was placed at the right of Miss Trevor. I observed that his face went blank from time to time at some quip of hers: even a dull woman may be sharp under such circumstances, and Miss Trevor had wits to spare. And I marked that she never allowed her talk with him to drift into deep water; when there was danger of this she would draw the entire table into their conversation by some adroit ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... dull, suppressed sound in parquette, parterre, and boxes, and all heads which had before been directed toward the stage, were now turned backward toward the great royal box. No one paid any more attention to the music, no one noticed that the ...
— Marie Antoinette And Her Son • Louise Muhlbach

... felt a shock throughout his whole being, and, even before his mind began to work, that vague impression of melancholy which misfortunes, momentarily forgotten, leave in their place. All the familiar noises of the factory, the dull throbbing of the machinery, were in full activity. So the world still existed! and by slow degrees the idea of his own responsibility awoke ...
— Serge Panine • Georges Ohnet

... very degraded young person," he said, distantly. "And not interesting. The woman who is falling is interesting. The woman who has reached the bottom, who has completely arrived at degradation, is dull enough." ...
— Flames • Robert Smythe Hichens

... tell us that dead, cold matter falls from all corners of the system into the sun, drawn by its magic magnetism from farthest space, and, plunging into that great reservoir of fire, the deadest and coldest matter glows with fervid heat and dazzling light. So you and I, dead, cold, dull, opaque, heavy fragments, drawn into mysterious oneness with Christ, the Sun of our souls, shall be transformed into His own image, and like Him be light and heat which ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... the murderer in a death more cruel than that he has given, he pointed to the Florentine traitor with his amiable smile and his deadly poison. He indicated certain powders and potions, some of them of dull action, wearing out the victim so slowly that he dies after long suffering; others violent and so quick, that they kill like a flash of lightning, leaving not even time for a single cry. Little by ...
— CELEBRATED CRIMES, COMPLETE - THE MARQUISE DE BRINVILLIERS • ALEXANDRE DUMAS, PERE

... voice vibrated, or had I imagined it? Pain-waves and loss of blood were playing tricks with my senses; now they were quite dull, and my leg alive and throbbing; now I had no leg at all, but more than all my ordinary senses in every other part of me. And the devil's orchestra was playing all the time, and all around me, on every class of fiendish instrument, ...
— Raffles - Further Adventures of the Amateur Cracksman • E. W. Hornung

... labour of the day seems light to them, looking forward to the hour when they sit together in John's old shabby dining-room above the counting-house. Yet a looker-on might imagine such times dull to them; for they are strangely shy of one another, strangely sparing of words—fearful of opening the flood-gates of speech, feeling the ...
— John Ingerfield and Other Stories • Jerome K. Jerome

... no danger of his failing in self- command, though grievously downcast, not only at the loss of the tender mother, who had always stood between him and his father's impatience, but by the dread that he was too dull and insignificant to afford any help or comfort in his ...
— The Daisy Chain, or Aspirations • Charlotte Yonge

... a hero, and the Forest paid homage to him; listened at his shrine and fed his reviving ego. But heroes cloy the taste, in time, and the most thrilling tales wax dull when they are worn to shreds. More and more Larry grew to depend upon Mary-Clare and Noreen for company and upon Jan-an for a never-failing listener ...
— At the Crossroads • Harriet T. Comstock

... her flagging spirits reviving. "And all expenses paid! But, oh, Tommy, I do like things to happen quickly. So far, adventure has succeeded adventure, but this morning has been dull ...
— The Secret Adversary • Agatha Christie

... doesn't belong to me." She was a long, lean, pale person, habited apparently in a dull-colored dressing gown, and she spoke with a kind of mild literalness. She did not ask me to sit down, any more than years before (if she were the niece) she had asked Mrs. Prest, and we stood face to face in ...
— The Aspern Papers • Henry James

... his holiday had progressed he had felt the need for some such old gentleman more and more; for only thus, he realised, could he capture the heart of the wayward Miss Spratt. But so far it had been a dull season; in a whole fortnight nobody had gone out of his way to oblige William, and to-morrow he must return to the City as unknown and as unloved as ...
— Once a Week • Alan Alexander Milne

... circumstances of the case, the first letter conveying intelligence so likely to pique the pride of Elizabeth, should have been a letter from Leicester. On the contrary, it proved to be a dull formal epistle ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... 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 ...
— Elementary Guide to Literary Criticism • F. V. N. Painter

... to tell his story in the manner of some other man. I can conceive the events of this part of my narration being interpreted in the spirit of the wildest farce, of the genteelest comedy, of the most humorous satire—"Other men, Other gifts." I am a dull and pompous fellow, as Semyonov often tells me; and I hope that I never allowed him to see how deeply I felt the truth ...
— The Secret City • Hugh Walpole

... like Christian Science or "New Thought." It is a scientific method based on the discoveries of psychology. The traditional psychology was regarded by the layman, not without some cause, as a dull and seemingly useless classification of our conscious faculties. But within the past twenty-five years the science has undergone a great change. A revolution has taken place in it which seems likely to provoke a revolution equally profound in the wider limits of our common life. ...
— The Practice of Autosuggestion • C. Harry Brooks

... description; but, like those at Anisy, are edged with freestone, as are the apertures left by the scaffolding, which in this building are disposed with unusual regularity, as if with the intention of their being ornamental. This introduction of white smooth stone, assorts ill with the dull reddish-brown mass all around it, and produces a glaring and disagreeable effect. The indented cornice is similar to that observed by Mr. Turner upon the gate-tower, leading to the monastery of the ...
— Architectural Antiquities of Normandy • John Sell Cotman

... things; who find the succulence of the fruit unpleasant to the taste, and the flowers, though fair to the eye, deadly as the upas tree to all other sense;—for whom it is no compensation to feel, with the first breath of morning air, the dull, leaden weight of life lifted, or no happiness to watch the sea heaving and palpitating with delight under the rays of the noon-day sun, and to know that the stars at night droop down lovingly and confidingly to the embrace of warm Tropical earth. With an insensibility to these influences, ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 3, No. 1 January 1863 - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... is quieter in this dungeon; and soon there will be an end, and peace. But for the letters of fire that burns one's brain the place would be as black as night; and it is still as night; one can sit and listen. And now that dull throbbing sound—and a strain of music—is it the young wife who, all unknowing, is digging her husband's grave? How sad she is! She pities the poor prisoner, whoever he may be. She would not dig this grave if she knew: she calls ...
— Sunrise • William Black

... human being did ought to be interesting to their fellow creatures, and yet, such is the weakness of human nature, that we all know folk so cruel dull in mind and body that an instinct rises in us to flee from 'em at sight and never go where there's a chance of running across 'em. It ain't Christian, but everybody knows such deadly characters none the less, and you might say without straining charity, that ...
— The Torch and Other Tales • Eden Phillpotts

... accustomed to it. They open their eyes and almost glare at me when by a mere chance I do come down to dinner. They are quite uncomfortable, because, you see, I am waiting my opportunity to fire slang at one of them. I always do, and always will. I never could fit into the dull life of ...
— Light O' The Morning • L. T. Meade

... Returning from a very dull day at her work, with some cheer at the prospect of an evening at Scout Headquarters, Rose was delighted to receive two letters at the post-office. One was from her brother, who wrote in a happy ...
— The Girl Scout Pioneers - or Winning the First B. C. • Lillian C Garis

... handling the ponies, but in spite of their efforts their animals were quite done up by February 12, as also was poor old Blossom. It would have been cruel to continue with them, they were so wasted, and even their eyes were dull and lustreless. Accordingly, Scott decided to send Bluecher, James Pigg, and Blossom back with Forde, Keohane, and myself. A reorganisation was made near the 79th parallel, and whilst the main party proceeded southward, Forde, Keohane, and I took our feeble ponies northward ...
— South with Scott • Edward R. G. R. Evans

... am the representative of the unfortunate and exiles,' said the man who asked the questions in a dull voice. 'I am myself wandering about all over the world in order that I may unite you for the sake of the cause of redemption which has been promised to the seed of Abraham and which was taken from ...
— The History of a Lie - 'The Protocols of the Wise Men of Zion' • Herman Bernstein

... and no man sought to shame My grey beard, when they knew that thou wast there, Else had they swift reward!—And now I fare Forth in dishonour, outcast, I, the great Cadmus, who sowed the seed-rows of this state Of Thebes, and reaped the harvest wonderful. O my beloved, though thy heart is dull In death, O still beloved, and alway Beloved! Never more, then, shalt thou lay Thine hand to this white beard, and speak to me Thy "Mother's Father"; ask "Who wrongeth thee? Who stints thine honour, or with malice stirs Thine heart? ...
— Hippolytus/The Bacchae • Euripides

... It was certainly rather dull in the only half-revivified London house, and Belgrave Square in Lent did not present a lively scene from the windows. The Liddesdales had a house there, but they were not to come up till the season began; and Gillian was turning ...
— Beechcroft at Rockstone • Charlotte M. Yonge

... her heart bursting with fond schemes to keep that precious mother alive. It's a splendid nature, that girl's; one that is in danger of being wrecked by its own impetuosity, but one so full and rich that it is capable of bubbling over and enriching all the dull and sterile ones about it. Now, if all the money I can rake and scrape together need not go to those languid, boneless children of my languid, boneless sister-in-law, I could put that brave little girl on her feet. I think she ...
— Polly Oliver's Problem • Kate Douglas Smith Wiggin

... have a personal spite; they may be dullards who kick and bray as their nature is to do, and prefer thistles to pineapples; they may be conscientious, acute, deeply learned, delightful judges, who see your joke in a moment, and the profound wisdom lying underneath. Wise or dull, laudatory or otherwise, we put their opinions aside. If they applaud, we are pleased: if they shake their quick pens, and fly off with a hiss, we resign their favors and put on all the fortitude we can muster. I would rather have the lowest ...
— Roundabout Papers • William Makepeace Thackeray

... which, he said, had belonged to Louis XVI. of France. The police kept the seal, and, finding that they could elicit no further information from the mysterious being who had thrust himself so unceremoniously into their dull town, permitted him to settle down quietly ...
— Celebrated Claimants from Perkin Warbeck to Arthur Orton • Anonymous

... unselfish way, told one of the diarists, possibly Sir M.E. GRANT-DUFF, possibly Mr. G.W.E. RUSSELL—I forget whom—was to wrap up the sponge in a bath-towel and jump on it. Here, for the historical painter, is a theme indeed—something worth all the ordinary dull occasions which provoke his talented if somewhat staid brush: the great Liberal statesman, the promoter of Home Rule, the author of The Impregnable Rock of Holy Scripture, leaping upon the bath-towel that held his sponge. But no historical painter could do justice ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 152, January 10, 1917 • Various

... and wholly disloyal to the trust, troubled by no uneasy overseers, not even his own conscience, dined and smiled upon with lovely languishing eyes. He did not care to go, even though he had decried the town as dull and monotonous. ...
— Marcia Schuyler • Grace Livingston Hill Lutz

... turn of the rocky ledge he paused, concentrating his powers to catch some sound other than the dull boom and hiss of the blizzard. Suddenly at his ...
— Corporal Cameron • Ralph Connor

... through the blackness now and then a group of trees or buildings or a quick flash of furtive light, but mainly darkness and monotony. It was as if he were tied to the tail of a comet that dashed hellwards for a billion years, so long the night extended till the dull gray dawn. There was no God anywhere in that dark night. He had forgotten about Him entirely. He was perhaps strongly conscious of the devil at ...
— The Search • Grace Livingston Hill

... soul heard not the consolation, for his body was weak and sore burdened from his youth up, and in his latter days yet more than ever; and there are conditions of the body in which the most elevating words, and the cheeriest notes of joy, strike dull and heavy on the soul. It is one of the bitterest experiences of life to discover how little one man can really be to another. How joyous is that youthful freshness which can believe that, by a thought transferred to another's heart, we can induce him to become another being, to live according ...
— Christian Gellert's Last Christmas - From "German Tales" Published by the American Publishers' Corporation • Berthold Auerbach

... said. "There is no place for you in London. There are thousands starving there already because they can paint a little, or sing a little, or fancy they can. Do you find it dull down here?" ...
— The Malefactor • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... and hearing and promptly uses them to put her a leading question and understand her version of "But this is so sudden. However——" There is a people's army; a rose-water revolution with the King accepting it as all in the day's dull work; a fight or rather an arming of a few last-ditchers of the old order, and much else that is not likely to happen outside Ruritania. Also candid expression of the opinions of (I take it) the "Wee Frees" ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 158, June 2, 1920 • Various

... curled up the pillar of smoke we had seen, and a dull crackling noise came up, telling that, though slowly, the ...
— Blue Jackets - The Log of the Teaser • George Manville Fenn

... daybreak. The great wall of pines and hemlocks that keep off the west wind from Stillwater stretches black and indeterminate against the sky. At intervals a dull, metallic sound, like the guttural twang of a violin string, rises form the frog-invested swamp skirting the highway. Suddenly the birds stir in their nests over there in the woodland, and break into that wild jargoning chorus with which they herald the advent of ...
— The Stillwater Tragedy • Thomas Bailey Aldrich

... makes Jack a dull boy." The subject of this sketch might put in a claim for at least something towards redeeming Jack's dulness, for he had a few odd ways, and a fertile turn for epigrammatics, some of them not bad. He boasted of having Beau Brummell's antipathy ...
— Personal Recollections of Early Melbourne & Victoria • William Westgarth

... men turn stiffly, Mumbling to each other. They are gentle and torpid and busy with eating. But one lifts a face of clayish pallor, There is a dull fury in his eyes, like little rusty grates. He rises slowly, Trembling in his many swathings like an awakened mummy, Ridiculous yet terrible. —And the Committee flings him a waste glance, Dropping a leaflet by ...
— The Ghetto and Other Poems • Lola Ridge

... ear to the door, but not a sound can be heard. The silence is as profound as the obscurity—a strange silence that is only broken by the sonorousness of the metallic floor when I move about. None of the dull noises usually to be heard on board a ship is perceptible, not even the rippling of the water along the hull. Nor is there the slightest movement to be felt; yet, in the estuary of the Neuse, the current is always strong enough, to cause a ...
— Facing the Flag • Jules Verne

... remain a sheer impossibility, we pass to a consideration of the six articles contributed to the Church Times in July and August last, under the title, The Revised American Prayer Book. Here we come upon a writer who, if not always edifying, has the undoubted merit of being never dull. In fact, so deliciously are logical inconsequence and accidental humor mingled throughout his fifteen columns of discursive criticism that a suspicion arises as to the writer's nationality. It is doubtful whether ...
— A Short History of the Book of Common Prayer • William Reed Huntington

... Majesties: in jolly hours, things go very high there. I observe they call King August "LE PATRON," the Captain, or "Patroon;" a fine jollity dwelling in that Man of Sin. Or does the reader notice Holstein-Beck, Prussian Major-General; Prince of Holstein-Beck; a solid dull man; capable of liquor, among other things: not wiser than he should be; sold all his Apanage or Princeship; for example, and bought plate with it, wherefore they call him ever since "Holstein-VAISSELLE (Holstein PLATE)" ...
— History of Friedrich II of Prussia V 7 • Thomas Carlyle

... for her here, is it?" Miss Enid ventured in feeble defense. "I am afraid we are rather dull company for a ...
— Quin • Alice Hegan Rice

... note, which can be heard at a great distance, and serves to collect a number together in time of danger. They are very plentiful and very pugnacious, frequently driving away crows, and even hawks, which perch on a tree where a few of them are assembled. They are all of rather dull and obscure colours. Now in the same countries there is a group of orioles, forming the genus Mimeta, much weaker birds, which have lost the gay colouring of their allies the golden orioles, being usually olive-green or brown; and in several cases these ...
— Contributions to the Theory of Natural Selection - A Series of Essays • Alfred Russel Wallace

... the outside of a tea-kettle, teapot, or hot-air shaft of a bright colour? Why should we have stoves and stove-pipes dull black? ...
— Ontario Teachers' Manuals: Nature Study • Ontario Ministry of Education

... consolation is it to know, that a hogshead of sugar will now bring thirty pounds, which, a short time ago, was only worth twelve. Let any unprejudiced individual look at the return now before us, and say whether our prospects are not deplorably dull and obscure. If we take the four years immediately preceding the passing of Mr. Canning's resolutions, say 1819, 20, 21, and 22; we will find the average to be 105,858 hogsheads, and if from this we even deduct one ...
— The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Omnibus • American Anti-Slavery Society

... onlookers as the vile epithet was applied. Calumet's right hand went swiftly forward and his fingers closed around the butt of the weapon at Denver Ed's hip. The gun came out with a jerk and lay in Calumet's hand. Calumet began to pull the trigger. The dull, metallic impact of the hammer against empty chambers was ...
— The Boss of the Lazy Y • Charles Alden Seltzer

... other side of the stream." He peered into the vacillating shadows, but saw nothing but the darker shadows of one of the innumerable man-made caves. The sound he had heard had brought to mind the dull clang that metal makes when it collides with stone, and it had been so faint as to have been barely audible above the purling of the stream. Thinking back, he was not altogether certain that he had heard it at all. "My imagination's getting the ...
— A Knyght Ther Was • Robert F. Young

... friendships between women. They prevented marriage, and led to foolish fussing about one another's health and happiness. Nan annoyed her by "getting talked about" with men, by writing books which Mrs. Hilary found both dull and not very nice, in tone, and by her own irritated reactions to her mother's personality. Nan, in fact, was often rude and curt ...
— Dangerous Ages • Rose Macaulay

... leaders, each representing a distinct type of politics, contended for an opportunity to try out a philosophy of government in the executive chair. In 1880 the conventions were the chief interest—the campaign was dull. The campaign of 1884, on the other hand, was one of the most remarkable in ...
— The United States Since The Civil War • Charles Ramsdell Lingley

... him again to her side. He laid his hand upon her arm. She broke her parasol across his face, he laughed hoarsely. She saw his savage beast-like eyes fixed hungrily upon her. She fainted for fear of his look of dull tigerish cruelty. ...
— A Mere Accident • George Moore

... resolution that changes the current of life has been taken in reliance upon that insight which vivid emotion bestows; and those periods of our history are charged most fully with moral purpose, which take their direction from moments such as these. . . . In such a moment the somewhat dull youth of 'The Inn Album' rises into the justiciary of the Highest; in such a moment Polyxena with her right woman's-manliness, discovers to Charles his regal duty, and infuses into her weaker husband, her own courage of ...
— Introduction to Robert Browning • Hiram Corson

... dull work," exclaimed Gerald, after they had been wandering about the native town some time. "I vote that we get horses and take a gallop into the country. We shall have the fun of a ride, at all events, ...
— The Three Admirals • W.H.G. Kingston

... being equal, more than from a small one. The ear drum-head is in the case of a large sound beaten, as it were, more powerfully. The singers that give us bigness of sound instead of quality belabor our ears, so to speak; they treat us as persons of mean understanding—dull intellects; ...
— Voice Production in Singing and Speaking - Based on Scientific Principles (Fourth Edition, Revised and Enlarged) • Wesley Mills

... always renew it, always increase it, always get it to a slightly higher level, for in this feeling alone he still felt something like happiness, something like an intoxication, something like an elevated form of life in the midst of his saturated, lukewarm, dull life. ...
— Siddhartha • Herman Hesse

... "still small voice." hoarseness &c. adj.; raucity[obs3]. V. whisper, breathe, murmur, purl, hum, gurgle, ripple, babble, flow; tinkle; mutter &c. (speak imperfectly) 583; susurrate[obs3]. steal on the ear; melt in the air, float on the air. Adj. inaudible; scarcely audible, just audible; low, dull; stifled, muffled; hoarse, husky; gentle, soft, faint; floating; purling, flowing &c. v.; whispered &c. v.; liquid; soothing; dulcet &c. (melodious) 413; susurrant[obs3], susurrous[obs3]. Adv. in a whisper, with bated breath, sotto voce[Lat], between the teeth, aside; piano, pianissimo; ...
— Roget's Thesaurus • Peter Mark Roget

... and listened. From the distance came a dull drone of sound which brought him to his feet with a start. He raced out onto deck with Carnes at his heels. Far overhead in the blue, a tiny speck of ...
— The Solar Magnet • Sterner St. Paul Meek

... the sad experience of generous and delightful Gilead P. Beck, in "The Golden Butterfly": how, after "Fifine at the Fair," frightful symptoms set in, till in despair he took up "Red Cotton Nightcap Country," and fell for hours into a dull comatose misery. "His eyes were bloodshot, his hair was pushed in disorder about his head, his cheeks were flushed, his hands were trembling, the nerves in his face were twitching. Then he arose, and solemnly ...
— Life of Robert Browning • William Sharp

... consist of shady avenues, where open tokos (the native shops) vary the monotony of Dutch villas, their white colonnades and porticos gleaming against the background of stately trees, and rising from a mass of tropical vegetation. The prevailing indigo of Soendanese dress gives a dull aspect to the wide but squalid streets, for in native capitals, though Dutch cleanliness may enforce perpetual "tidying up," the lacking sense of order produces a strange impermanence in the conditions ...
— Through the Malay Archipelago • Emily Richings

... the dull, bewildered look of her godmother, neglected and forgotten,—she, the mistress of that house, wearing almost the expression of a dog that is doubtful which master to obey, looking from the face of her terrible ...
— The Lesser Bourgeoisie • Honore de Balzac

... on an out of the way topic, and the ideas were, perhaps, not quite without novelty at the time of its composition. But it was cramped and thin, and hesitating between several manners; above all it was uncommonly dull. If it ever was sent to an editor, as I presume it must have been, that editor was trebly justified in declining it. On the other hand, to be egotistic, I have known editors reject the attempts of ...
— How to Fail in Literature • Andrew Lang

... across the Pacific sounds very romantic; but there are often long distances to be traversed when no land is in sight, and there is nothing to break the monotony of the voyage. The midshipmen of the two ships voted it very dull, and began to believe that they should meet with none of the wonderful adventures which they had anticipated. Mr Mildmay confessed that he had been dreadfully disappointed; he had expected everywhere to see bevies of graceful nymphs, dressed in gossamer robes, their ...
— The Three Commanders • W.H.G. Kingston

... ear-splitting thunder, no splendid display of force; simply a silent flood of white, an orderly procession of tight-packed ice—packed so closely that not a drop of water was in evidence. It was there, somewhere, down underneath; but it had to be taken on faith. There was a dull hum or muffled grating, but so low in pitch that the ear strained to ...
— A Daughter of the Snows • Jack London

... cooked for me, too,—and came again to bring some lilies he had gone a mile to fetch, he told the girl. Every day he came to inquire, or to bring some delicacy, or a few flowers, or a new magazine for me, until the report of his visit came to be an expected excitement, and varied the dull days wonderfully. Sickness and seclusion are a new birth to our senses, oftentimes. Not only do we get a real glimpse of ourselves, undecked and unclothed, but the commonest habits of life, and the things that have ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 5, No. 28, February, 1860 • Various

... publish his sisters shame? And yet she was about to publish it herself!.... And instead of words, he met their condolences with fresh agonies, till they gave him up as mad; and, tired by his violence, compelled him, with blows and curses, to remain quiet; and so the week wore out, in dull and stupefied despair, which trembled on the very edge of idiocy. Night and day were alike to him. The food which was thrust in through his grate remained untasted; hour after hour, day after day, he sat upon the ground, his head buried in his hands, half-dozing from mere ...
— Hypatia - or, New Foes with an Old Face • Charles Kingsley

... was dull and cloudy, and Dig and Arthur as they stood on the hall steps and looked up at the sky, debated with themselves whether the day would hold up long enough to allow of the picnic at the water's edge. To their ...
— The Master of the Shell • Talbot Baines Reed

... Whence fear was lightened of her fever-fit, Whence anguish of her life-compelling load. Yea, no man's head whereon the fire alit, Of all that passed along that sunset road Westward, no brow so drear, No eye so dull of cheer, No face so mean whereon that light abode, But as with alien pride Strange godhead glorified Each feature flushed from heaven with fire that showed The likeness of its own life wrought By strong transfiguration ...
— A Midsummer Holiday and Other Poems • Algernon Charles Swinburne

... to Caen the road passes through a dead flat, almost wholly consisting of uninclosed corn-fields, extending in all directions, with unvaried dull monotony, as far as the eye can reach. Buck-wheat is cultivated in a large proportion of them: the inhabitants prepare a kind of cake from this grain, of which they are very fond, and which is said to be wholesome. Tradition, founded principally upon the French name of this ...
— Account of a Tour in Normandy, Vol. II. (of 2) • Dawson Turner

... times but shyness probably had something to do with that. In spite of a certain self-possession he was diffident in most company, but, though he may have been subject to those spells when words do not rise and the mind seems wrapped in a kind of dull cloth which everyone dumbly stares at, instead of looking through—he would easily get off a rejoinder upon occasion. When a party of visitors came to Walden and some one asked Thoreau if he found it lonely there, he replied: "Only by your help." A remark characteristic, true, ...
— Essays Before a Sonata • Charles Ives

... divers other things that must be taken in as concurrent to produce those differing forms of Asperity, whereon the Colours of Opacous bodies seem to depend. To declare this a little, we must assume, that the Surfaces of all such Bodies how Smooth or polite soever they may appear to our Dull Sight and Touch, are exactly smooth only in a popular, or at most in a Physical sense, but not in a strict and ...
— Experiments and Considerations Touching Colours (1664) • Robert Boyle

... a total absence of either artillery or rifle fire. The advance had been made silently and comparatively quietly. On either side of the mill, in the far distance, and to the rear, however, were dull rumblings and booms that ...
— The Khaki Boys Over the Top - Doing and Daring for Uncle Sam • Gordon Bates

... had no worthy opponent. As Monk was dead, the Duke of York had again assumed active command with Rupert as his lieutenant. Although the Duke was honestly devoted to the navy he was dull-witted, and in spite of the advantage of numbers and the dogged courage of officers and men which so often in English history has made up for stupid leadership, he was wholly unable to cope with de Ruyter's genius. As for the French navy, ...
— A History of Sea Power • William Oliver Stevens and Allan Westcott

... were overawed by the popular demonstration, and the bishops were acquitted. The news of the result of the trial was received not only by the people, but by the army as well, with shouts of joy, which did not fail to reach even the dull ears of ...
— A General History for Colleges and High Schools • P. V. N. Myers

... Mr. Sinclair became tired of Montreal. Many of his patrons left with their regiments for England, and he became weary of the dull routine and scanty income which he saw was all he could ever look forward to in Canada, so, breaking up his household, he departed for the United States, and, having lived for a time in various cities, finally settled in Boston, where he became ...
— The Mysteries of Montreal - Being Recollections of a Female Physician • Charlotte Fuhrer

... the man, sadly, and with the beaming smile that had come upon his face dying out, to leave it cold and dull. "Then you won't forget me, boy, when—" He stopped short, with a suggestion of moisture softening his fierce, ...
— Marcus: the Young Centurion • George Manville Fenn

... of the First Empire pieces of furniture seemed burnt into her brain: and the human faces of the dull gold sphinxes which jutted from each of the corners of the long, low settee seemed to ...
— The End of Her Honeymoon • Marie Belloc Lowndes

... waste world's side, Thy death and rising, thou didst calmly bide; Sore compassed by many a clinging weed Sprung from the fallow soil of evil and need; Hither and thither tossed, by friends denied; Pitied of goodness dull, and scorned of pride; Until at length was done the awful deed, And thou didst lie outworn in stony bower— Three days asleep—oh, slumber godlike, brief, For Man of sorrows and acquaint with grief, Heaven's seed, Thou diedst, that out of thee might tower Aloft, with rooted stem and shadowy ...
— Making the Most of Life • J. R. Miller

... have we improved on this? Can we improve upon it? Was it not far better, then, for them—if these its happy accompaniments—to hold fast, even to their last breath, that hope; and even to pass off this scene clasping it still fondly to their hearts, than our dimmed and dull faith with—it may be boldly said—all the ...
— Old Groans and New Songs - Being Meditations on the Book of Ecclesiastes • F. C. Jennings

... quite in harmony with her theme. The martially-amorous melodies of Italian Opera in those days fostered a passion challenged to intrepidity from the heart of softness; gliding at the same time, and putting warm blood even into dull arithmetical figures which might be important to her lover, her hero fronting battle. She condensed Redworth's information skilfully, heartily giving it and whatever she had imbibed, as her own, down to the remark: 'Common sense in questions of ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... use of delaying further," he said, when at length the grayness of dawn began to dull the starlight. Since to light matches would have meant discovery, he had brought with him those hundred Kerry pikemen Nuala had recruited after the dark Master's defeat, and he passed on the ...
— Nuala O'Malley • H. Bedford-Jones

... his eyes riveted on Miss LeMar's face. Estella, catching a glimpse of herself in the old-fashioned mirror above the mantel, suddenly felt a cold chill of dissatisfaction. Her figure had never seemed to her so stout and stiff, her brown hair so dull and prim, her complexion so muddy, her features so commonplace. She wished Miss LeMar would go out ...
— Lucy Maud Montgomery Short Stories, 1902 to 1903 • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... police headquarters and went down the long corridor to the Italian Bureau. Kennedy sent in his card to Lieutenant Giuseppe in charge, and we were quickly admitted. The lieutenant was a short, full-faced fleshy Italian, with lightish hair and eyes that were apparently dull, until you suddenly discovered that that was merely a cover to their really restless way of taking in everything and fixing it on his mind, as if on ...
— Masterpieces of Mystery In Four Volumes - Detective Stories • Various

... on May 21 an unfavorable physical condition which manifested itself, first of all through the eyes which appeared dull and bloodshot. On the following day they were inflamed and the lids nearly closed. Julius refused to eat, and experimentation was impossible. Until June 2 careful treatment and regulation of diet was necessary. He passed through what at the time seemed ...
— The Mental Life of Monkeys and Apes - A Study of Ideational Behavior • Robert M. Yerkes

... in the frame above him. It was only by degrees that they observed the other objects in the room—the big drum on the floor in the empty space where the exhorters stood, the dozen wooden benches and the possible score of people sitting on them, the dull kerosene lamps on the walls, lighting up the curtness of the texts. There were half-a-dozen men of the Duke's Own packed in a row like a formation, solid on their haunches; and three or four unshaven and loose-garmented, from crews in the Hooghly, who leaned well forward, their elbows ...
— Hilda - A Story of Calcutta • Sara Jeannette Duncan

... in the glorious cause Of Justice, Mercy, Liberty, and Laws, Who call to Virtue's shrine the British youth, And shake the senate with the voice of Truth; Rouse the dull ear, the hoodwink'd eye unbind, And give to energy the public mind; While rival realms with blood unsated wage Wide-wasting war with fell demoniac rage; 280 In every clime while army army meets, And oceans groan beneath contending fleets; Oh save, ...
— The Temple of Nature; or, the Origin of Society - A Poem, with Philosophical Notes • Erasmus Darwin

... the day on which Elsa was to be wedded to her tyrant. She had spent the night in tears and bitter lamentations, and now, weary and distraught, too hopeless even for tears, she looked out from the bars of her prison with dull, despairing eyes. Suddenly she heard the melodious strains and a moment later saw the approach of a swan-drawn boat, wherein lay a sleeping knight. Hope leapt within her, for she remembered the prophecy of an old nun, long since dead, that a sleeping ...
— Hero Tales and Legends of the Rhine • Lewis Spence

... the scene, Nancy Rouse made a discovery which very often follows the dismissal of a suitor—that she was considerably more attached to him than she had thought. The house became dull, the subordinate washerwomen languid; their taciturnity irritated ...
— Foul Play • Charles Reade

... covering of the skull easily detached, and no hemorrhage was noticeable. 2. The skull bones were of average thickness and uninjured. 3. On the hard membrane of the skull there were two small discolored spots of about the size of four centimetres, the membrane itself being of a dull gray color, et cetera, et cetera, to the end ...
— The Awakening - The Resurrection • Leo Nikoleyevich Tolstoy

... Diggory's was but a dull one. The subject of the Swan and her voyage had, by common consent, been dropped altogether for the last day or two; and it was not until supper was over that Mistress Mercy, and the girls, knew that the hour of sailing was at hand. Then Reuben ...
— By Right of Conquest - Or, With Cortez in Mexico • G. A. Henty

... Majesty's ball last night was, I am told, rather dull, though she herself seemed in high spirits, as if she were pleased at retaining her Ministers. She has a great concert on the 13th, but to both, as I hear, the invitations have been on a very exclusive principle, no Tories being invited who could on any ...
— The Letters of Queen Victoria, Volume 1 (of 3), 1837-1843) • Queen Victoria

... excitement, generally more or less feverish, of working with friends we love and admire; it is the difference between milk and wine. I do not think wine wrong, but I think it is much better to cultivate a taste for milk; you must watch yourselves, and not get to feel home things dull. Some are so strong in home, so wrapped up in their own family, that outsiders feel de trop, which of course is a fault on the other side. If we have happy homes, it is a trust for the use of others; ...
— Stray Thoughts for Girls • Lucy H. M. Soulsby

... I've been in the immediate vicinity of the boreal pole for half an hour—a neighborhood in which, I am told, even the most ardent spirits sometimes freeze—so you must pardon me if I am more than usually dull, Miss Minerva." ...
— The Potiphar Papers • George William Curtis

... the Greenan; that is, grianan, a bright, sunny place. On the arm of a tree in the Greenan hangs something you might (if you are dull) mistake for a plaited garland of rushes hung with pierced pennies; but it really is our Chain of Silence, a useful article of bygone ages, which the lord of a mansion shook when he wished an attentive hearing, and which deserved ...
— Penelope's Irish Experiences • Kate Douglas Wiggin

... avert a disaster, that caused her to tax her old bones to their utmost, as she climbed over the fences and ran across the fields. A whistle sounded far over on the town side, and she was conscious of a dull throbbing in the air. Foot by foot she counted her chances, listening to the approaching train and exerting herself to the limit. The headlight of the locomotive was glaring at her as she climbed the sandy embankment of the ...
— Nancy McVeigh of the Monk Road • R. Henry Mainer

... by the roadside dead, Only a tramp—who cares? His feet are bare, his dull eyes stare, And the wind plays freaks with his unkempt hair. The sun rose up and the sun went down, But nobody missed him from the town Where he begged for bread 'till the day he was dead. He's only a tramp—who cares? ...
— Debris - Selections from Poems • Madge Morris

... particular branch of our people evolved it, but because it is the common heritage of all. One who has a knowledge of Irish can easily get evidence of its quickening power on the Irish mind. Travel in an Irish-speaking district and hail one of its old people in English, and you get in response a dull "Good-day, Sir." Salute him in Irish and you touch a secret spring. The dull eyes light up, the face is all animation, the body alert, and for a dull "good-day," you get warm benedictions, lively ...
— Principles of Freedom • Terence J. MacSwiney

... opportunities and fail not to seize them. It is the interest of commanders that such men should be selected for service, when success or failure may follow, according to the wisdom of the selection, as the instrument may be—sharp or dull, ...
— Henry Ossian Flipper, The Colored Cadet at West Point • Henry Ossian Flipper

... nobler impulse rise up in your heart, and shall you not say: "I will not do it; I will be honest, I will be sober, I will be pure, at least, to-night"? I dare to think that there are men here to whom that appeal can come, men who, perhaps, will be all dull and deaf if one speaks to them about their personal salvation; who, if one dares to picture to them, appealing to their better nature, trusting to their nobler soul, that there is in them the power to save other men from sin, and to help the work of God by the control of their own passions ...
— Addresses • Phillips Brooks

... his life, for forty years, in making Venuses, Cupids, Bacchuses, and a vast deal of other marble progeny of dreamwork, or rather frostwork: it was all a vapory exhalation out of the Grecian mythology, crystallizing on the dull window-panes of to-day. Gifted with a more delicate power than any other man alive, he had foregone to be a Christian reality, and perverted himself into a Pagan idealist, whose business or efficacy, in our present world, ...
— The Marble Faun, Volume I. - The Romance of Monte Beni • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... night." His early poem, Walt Whitman, is for me his most spontaneous offering. He has at times the primal gift of the poet—ecstasy; but to attain it he often wades through shallow, ill-smelling sewers, scales arid hills, traverses dull drab levels where the slag covers rich ore, or plunges into subterrene pools of nocturnal abominations—veritable regions of the "mother of dead dogs." Probably the sexlessness of Emerson's, Poe's, and Hawthorne's writings sent Whitman to ...
— Ivory Apes and Peacocks • James Huneker

... and recurred—gardens that flaunted coloring against which this would be quite dull, moons that whirled and swayed, paler than winter moons, more golden ...
— This Side of Paradise • F. Scott Fitzgerald

... are filled "with all the fulness of God." Can we imagine any more wonderful expression of the life of holiness to which we are called than that? We "grow up into Him in all things." That is the true account of the Christian life, not some thin and dull routine of moral duty, but the spiritual adventure of the road that travels out into the infinite pursuit of spiritual accomplishment till it is lost in ...
— Our Lady Saint Mary • J. G. H. Barry

... knave as he is a fool. He whose hair grows thick on his temples and his brow, one may certainly at first sight conclude that such a man is by nature simple, vain, luxurious, lustful, credulous, clownish in his speech and conversation and dull in his apprehension. He whose hair not only curls very much, but bushes out, and stands on end, if the hair be white or of a yellowish colour, he is by nature proud and bold, dull of apprehension, soon angry, and a lover of venery, and given to lying, malicious and ready to ...
— The Works of Aristotle the Famous Philosopher • Anonymous

... mountain-peasants with black hats and big cloaks and overcoats. They found Pancrazio a seat at the far end, and there he sat, with his deeply-lined, impassive face and slightly glazed eyes. He had yellow-brown eyes like Ciccio. But in the uncle the eyelids dropped in a curious, heavy way, the eyes looked dull like those of some old, rakish tom-cat, they were slightly rimmed with red. A curious person! And his English, though slow, was beautifully pronounced. He glanced at Alvina with slow, impersonal glances, not at all a stare. And he sat for the most part impassive and abstract ...
— The Lost Girl • D. H. Lawrence

... disappears beneath the surface. I caught four or five fine tench in little more than twice as many minutes. I don't know why they took a fancy to bite so freely that fine bright morning. Generally they take the hook best of a dull, muggy day, with a light drizzling rain, provided the weather is warm. After I had caught those four fish, I waited for fully ten minutes more without getting another bite; at last, I came to the conclusion that only those four fish had ...
— Dick Cheveley - His Adventures and Misadventures • W. H. G. Kingston

... mistaken. He was looking absently at the sky over my head. I now took thought of what a very silent, motionless, undemonstrative man this was. He was thin and oldish, and of moderate stature, with a narrow face, pale eyes, and a very long nose. He was dressed in dull brown cloth, and was in all respects—save his length of nose—one of those persons of whom nobody ever takes much note. And he in turn did not seem to take much note of the world. He looked at the sky, the house roofs and the road, but his thoughts did not appear to concern themselves ...
— The Bright Face of Danger • Robert Neilson Stephens

... who have been secretly introduced into the building by a back door, but the women and children think it is made by the devils, and are much terrified. Then the priests enter the shed, followed by the boys, one at a time. As soon as each boy has disappeared within the precincts, a dull chopping sound is heard, a fearful cry rings out, and a sword or spear, dripping with blood, is thrust through the roof of the shed. This is a token that the boy's head has been cut off, and that the devil ...
— The Golden Bough - A study of magic and religion • Sir James George Frazer

... of oneself, manifests as a beautiful rose tint—one of the most pleasing of the astral tints, by the way. Descending in the scale, we find the crimson shade becoming darker and duller, until we descend to the plane of impure, sensual, coarse passion, which is manifested by an ugly, dull, muddy crimson of a repulsive appearance, suggesting blood mixed with dirty earth or ...
— The Human Aura - Astral Colors and Thought Forms • Swami Panchadasi

... to an end, even a long story. After many weeks had passed slowly by, their sojourn in this village came to an end too. It was a dull place, very dull, and they had nothing to do; and the few poor people who lived there seemed to have very little or nothing to do. We will, therefore, pass it over, and resume our narrative at the ...
— Martin Rattler • R.M. Ballantyne

... visible. The garden-path stretched downward from his feet, gleaming like the track of a snail; the roof of the little well (mostly dry), the well-cover, the top rail of the garden-gate, were varnished with the same dull liquid glaze; while, far away in the vale, a faint whiteness of more than usual extent showed that the rivers were high in the meads. Beyond all this winked a few bleared lamplights through the beating drops—lights that denoted the situation of the county-town from which he had ...
— The Great English Short-Story Writers, Vol. 1 • Various

... murmurs on the white sand. And with Laumanu seated for'ard, gazing out beyond into the blackness before them, he urged the canoe seawards with quick, nervous strokes. Far away to the westward he could see the dull glimmer of ...
— The Ebbing Of The Tide - South Sea Stories - 1896 • Louis Becke



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