English edit

Etymology edit

From Middle English dismal, dismale, from Anglo-Norman dismal, from Old French (li) dis mals ((the) bad days), from Medieval Latin diēs malī (bad days).

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): /ˈdɪzməl/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪzməl

Adjective edit

dismal (comparative more dismal, superlative most dismal)

  1. Disastrous, calamitous
  2. Disappointingly inadequate.
    He received a dismal compensation.
    • 2012 April 22, Sam Sheringham, “Liverpool 0-1 West Brom”, in BBC Sport:
      Liverpool's efforts thereafter had an air of desperation as their dismal 2012 league form continued.
  3. Causing despair; gloomy and bleak.
    The storm made for a dismal weekend
  4. Depressing, dreary, cheerless.
    She was lost in dismal thoughts of despair
    • 1913, Joseph C[rosby] Lincoln, chapter XII, in Mr. Pratt’s Patients, New York, N.Y., London: D[aniel] Appleton and Company, →OCLC:
      So, after a spell, he decided to make the best of it and shoved us into the front parlor. 'Twas a dismal sort of place, with hair wreaths, and wax fruit, and tin lambrekins, and land knows what all. It looked like a tomb and smelt pretty nigh as musty and dead-and-gone.

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