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Dismal   Listen
adjective
Dismal  adj.  
1.
Fatal; ill-omened; unlucky. (Obs.) "An ugly fiend more foul than dismal day."
2.
Gloomy to the eye or ear; sorrowful and depressing to the feelings; foreboding; cheerless; dull; dreary; as, a dismal outlook; dismal stories; a dismal place. "Full well the busy whisper, circling round, Convey'd the dismal tidings when he frowned." "A dismal description of an English November."
Synonyms: Dreary; lonesome; gloomy; dark; ominous; ill-boding; fatal; doleful; lugubrious; funereal; dolorous; calamitous; sorrowful; sad; joyless; melancholy; unfortunate; unhappy.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Dismal" Quotes from Famous Books



... of the vegetation during long ages must have produced beds like the peat-deposits of America and Great Britain. In the Dismal Swamp of Virginia there is said to be a mass of vegetable matter 40 feet in thickness, and on the banks of the Shannon in Ireland is a peat-bog 3 miles broad and 50 feet deep. When conditions were so much ...
— Lectures on Popular and Scientific Subjects • John Sutherland Sinclair, Earl of Caithness

... the art of teaching comes in and where Carl excelled. He could make even the "dismal science," as Carlyle called economics, interesting, as was proved by the large numbers of men who elected his courses, despite the fact that he made them work hard to pass. Nor does this take into account original research and the writing ...
— How To Write Special Feature Articles • Willard Grosvenor Bleyer

... than once had to retire to his room, and recover his composure, and wonder whether his own appetite would ever return to him. And once or twice when I unfeelingly drew attention to an opposite neighbour and wondered what Lady Maria would say to it, he could only reply by a dismal groan which caused the opposite neighbour for a moment to arrest his mission of destruction ...
— The Argosy - Vol. 51, No. 3, March, 1891 • Various

... laying before him the odiousness of the fact, by the violation of the safe conduct he had granted to that nobleman, and the putting him to death without conviction, or so much as a legal trial, with the dismal consequences that were like to attend an action of that nature, not only in respect of Scotland, which would certainly be lost, but likewise of his own personal safety from the nobility. Whereupon the king called for the warrant, ...
— Biographia Scoticana (Scots Worthies) • John Howie

... are old enough to be mean and dreary, but not old enough to be quaint. As far as I could see most of them are let in lodgings, furnished and unfurnished, and almost every door has three bells to it. Here and there the ground floors have been made into shops of the commonest kind; it's a dismal street in every way. I found Number 20 was to let, and I went to the agent's and got the key. Of course I should have heard nothing of the Herberts in that quarter, but I asked the man, fair and square, ...
— The House of Souls • Arthur Machen

... little boy in Holland saw water trickling from a small hole near the bottom of a dike. He realized that the leak would rapidly become larger if the water were not checked, so he held his hand over the hole for hours on a dark and dismal night until he could attract the attention of passers-by. His name is still held in ...
— Pushing to the Front • Orison Swett Marden

... saw for a few minutes daily, during the dismal dinner, and even for a short time she seemed scarcely able to bear the child's presence. Surely nothing but the most unheard-of anguish could have extinguished a mother's ...
— A Woman of Thirty • Honore de Balzac

... like a lancet, into the inflated ambition of the young king. He winced in the agony of the keen surgery. But Melville had to meet the consequences of his faithfulness. He was taken to the tower of London, where he lay in a dismal cell four years. He was afterward banished and died in a ...
— Sketches of the Covenanters • J. C. McFeeters

... the Frenchies!" cut in Paul; "calling out that he would never have acted pilot to an English ship except under compulsion, and declaring that it was a dismal tale the survivors would take to their own country—that Canada should be the grave of the whole army, and the St. Lawrence should bury beneath its waves nine-tenths of the British ships, and that the walls of Quebec should be lined with ...
— French and English - A Story of the Struggle in America • Evelyn Everett-Green

... was now about half-way towards them, and just then the sun rose and shone full on his veiled face. He had been a tall man before he was bowed by his disgusting sickness, and even now he walked with a vigorous step. The dismal beating of his bell, the pattering of the stick, the eyeless screen before his countenance, and the knowledge that he was not only doomed to death and suffering, but shut out for ever from the touch of his fellow-men, filled the lads' bosoms with dismay; and at every step that ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 8 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... dismal rhetorician of Potsdam. Real emperors reconcile and consolidate peoples, for an empire is not a nation; but the Hohenzollerns have never dared to be anything but sedulously national, "echt Deutsch" and advocates of black-letter. They know ...
— What is Coming? • H. G. Wells

... the slender gentlemen are left to themselves; and on such occasions the sound of laughter is often heard to issue from among them. But the fate of the more dignified personages, who are left in the other room, is extremely dismal. The gentlemen spit, talk of elections and the price of produce, and spit again. The ladies look at each other's dresses till they know every pin by heart; talk of Parson Somebody's last sermon on the day of judgment, or Dr. T'otherbody's new pills for dyspepsia, till the 'tea' is announced, ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction - Volume 19. Issue 539 - 24 Mar 1832 • Various

... passed since that dismal storm in the spring of 1815, when Hamilton and I spent a long disconsolate night of enforced waiting, I still hear the roaring of the northern gale, driving round the house-corners as if it would wrench all eaves from the roof. It shrieked across the garden like ...
— Lords of the North • A. C. Laut

... been fierce and angry, snapping and barking furiously at the savages each time they charged, suddenly threw up his head and uttered a dismal howl. ...
— Bunyip Land - A Story of Adventure in New Guinea • George Manville Fenn

... Of race, which rarely seen yet never dies, Springs up afresh and warms us with its heat. And must they take away this treasure house, To us so full of thoughts and memories; To all the world beside a dismal place Lacking in all this modern age requires To tempt along the unfamiliar paths And leafy lanes of old time literatures? It takes some time for moss and vines to grow And warmly cover gaunt and chill stone walls ...
— A Dome of Many-Coloured Glass • Amy Lowell

... silently across the horrid flow, The shapeless bark and pallid chalklike arms Of him that oared it, dumbly to and fro, Went gliding, and the struggling ghosts in swarms Leaped in and passed, but myriads more behind Crowded the dismal beaches. One might hear A tumult of entreaty thin and clear Rise like the whistle of a ...
— Alcyone • Archibald Lampman

... sat, the numbers growing Less, each going To his fate— What a dismal occupation! My elation ...
— Punch Volume 102, May 28, 1892 - or the London Charivari • Various

... morning, from a visionary coach and six, with the dismal account that Bellarmine was run through the body by Horatio; that he lay languishing at an inn, and the surgeons had declared the wound mortal. She immediately leaped out of the bed, danced about the room in a frantic manner, ...
— Joseph Andrews Vol. 1 • Henry Fielding

... up a dismal wail, and clutched his packages to his breast, dropping all but two in the process. These were snapped up by Reddy and Nora almost before they ...
— Grace Harlowe's Third Year at Overton College • Jessie Graham Flower

... utter misery through the house, that poor Kitty Fagan would cross herself, and wring her hands, and think of funerals, and wonder who was going to die,—for she fancied she heard the Banshee's warning in those most dismal ululations. ...
— The Guardian Angel • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

... ambulance, indeed, they no longer knew where to bestow the cases that were brought them, and had been obliged to have recourse to the lawn, where they laid them on the grass. There were already two long rows of them, exposed beneath the shrieking shells, filling the air with their dismal plaints while waiting for his ministrations. The number of cases brought in since noon exceeded four hundred, and in response to Bouroche's repeated appeals for assistance he had been sent one young doctor from the city. Good as was his will, he was unequal to the task; he probed, sliced, sawed, ...
— The Downfall • Emile Zola

... humble position, and his only reward was our poor thanks and the approval of his own generous heart. It must have had its comic side, too, to see a major of the regular Confederate service, who had done battle on the field where glory was to be won, groping in the dismal dark of the night and running the risk of being severely hurt, possibly of being killed, by dogs, practicing war with one hand, and dispensing a noble if not an ...
— The World As I Have Found It - Sequel to Incidents in the Life of a Blind Girl • Mary L. Day Arms

... stuffy cushions of the rattle-trap, and then sat upright again and stared out of the window at the dismal scene. They were splashing through a sea of mud. Ever since they had left St. Louis, Captain Lige had done his best to cheer her, and he did not ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... existence, wisdom, and power more in question than they do those other things most real and manifest, the truth of which they suppose as certain, in all the serious affairs of life, and which, nevertheless, as well as Thou, escape our feeble senses? O misery! O dismal night that surrounds the children of Adam! O monstrous stupidity! O confusion of the whole man! Man has eyes only to see shadows, and truth appears a phantom to him. What is nothing is all; and what is all is nothing to him. What do I behold in all nature? ...
— The Worlds Greatest Books, Volume XIII. - Religion and Philosophy • Various

... quien se engendro en una carcel, donde toda incomodidad tiene su assiento, y todo triste ruido hace su habitacion.' Like one you may suppose born in a prison, where every inconvenience keeps its residence, and every dismal sound its habitation. ...
— Literary Remains (1) • Coleridge

... have considered this house as the place where reason and justice may be heard, when, by clamour and uproar, they are driven from the other. On this occasion, my lords, every Briton fixes his eye upon us, and every man who has sagacity enough to discover the dismal approach of publick poverty, now supplicates your lordships, by agreeing to this address, ...
— The Works of Samuel Johnson, Vol. 11. - Parlimentary Debates II. • Samuel Johnson

... gentleman in a kinder tone, 'for what purpose can you have brought us to this strange place? Why not have let me speak to you, above there, where it is light, and there is something stirring, instead of bringing us to this dark and dismal hole?' ...
— Oliver Twist • Charles Dickens

... its cheery tone and her step its elasticity. The bloom faded from her youthful cheeks, giving place to an ashen pallor. She was no longer interested in her accustomed occupations and amusements, and would sit for hours together with her hands crossed in her lap, dominated by sorrowful and dismal forebodings. ...
— Monte-Cristo's Daughter • Edmund Flagg

... the ravine by which we had approached the village on the previous night, a sound of chanting struck our ears. Presently the path turned, and we saw a solemn procession advancing up that dismal, sunless gorge. At the head of it rode none other than the beautiful Khania, followed by her great-uncle, the old Shaman, and after these came a company of shaven priests in their white robes, bearing between them ...
— Ayesha - The Further History of She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed • H. Rider Haggard

... fagged. Bedizened with diamonds, coated with paint and powder, laden with rustling silks, they looked weary and worn out. When spoken to they would struggle to smile, but the smiles would break down after a moment into dismal looks ...
— The Christian - A Story • Hall Caine

... fingers knocked. She had never been inside of it yet, and what she saw of the outside was not in the least inviting. The little windows, lined with paper curtains to keep out sunlight and curious eyes, looked dismal; the weatherboards were unpainted; the little porch broken. Daisy did not like such things. But she knocked without a bit of fear or hesitation, notwithstanding all this. She was charged with work to do; so she felt; ...
— Melbourne House, Volume 2 • Susan Warner

... whence they succeeded in carrying out to sea the newly-arrived West Indian trader Weymouth, loaded with a full cargo of rum, sugar, and tobacco. The expedition was admirably planned, the night chosen being that upon which the new moon occurred; it was a dismal, rainy, and exceptionally dark night, with a strong breeze blowing from the south-west; the hour was about two o'clock a.m.; there was an ebb tide running; and the ship—which had only arrived late in the afternoon of the previous ...
— The Log of a Privateersman • Harry Collingwood

... he turned up his collar and watched the dim shapes of trees and hedges gather out of the night to meet the dismal dawn. He was cold and hungry ...
— Mr. Britling Sees It Through • H. G. Wells

... "For a dismal, wretched, man-forsaken stretch of country it beats anything I ever saw," Walter exclaimed in disgust. "The river itself is about a half mile wide, but it twists, turns, and forks every few yards so as to puzzle a corporation lawyer. The shores for half a mile back from ...
— The Boy Chums in the Forest - or Hunting for Plume Birds in the Florida Everglades • Wilmer M. Ely

... against her will, but she thought she had better stay. The lunch was so badly cooked and so meagre that Louise fancied they were beginning to starve themselves, and wanted to cry into her tea-cup. The woman who waited wore such dismal black, and went about with her eyes staring and her mouth tightly pursed, and smelt faintly of horses. It was Mrs. Newton; she had let Louise in when she came, and she was the only servant whom the ...
— The Quality of Mercy • W. D. Howells

... time, then Staines, and as the twilight came on the coach was going at a good pace, with the last rays of sunset to the left behind it, and the dark stretch of Hounslow Heath, with its dismal gallows, in front. Suddenly the coach stopped, and was surrounded by three men on horseback, armed with pistols, their faces hidden behind black crape masks. The ladies screamed, the men turned pale and trembled, the guard made a faint show of resistance, but was at once overpowered; ...
— Golden Moments - Bright Stories for Young Folks • Anonymous

... curses of the poor wretches who had been wounded in the skirmishes of the day, all mingling with the wailing of the wind, and the ceaseless pattering of the rain, combined to form a scene as wild and dismal as language could well paint, or even imagination conceive, and throw over this devoted spot of earth more of the air of the regions of the damned, than of ...
— The Rangers - [Subtitle: The Tory's Daughter] • D. P. Thompson

... gray; nothing for the ear but the rush of the coming, the roar of the breaking, and the moan of the retreating wave. No rock lifted up a sheltering severity above the dreariness around; even that from which I had myself emerged rose scarcely a foot above the opening by which I had reached the dismal day, more dismal even than the tomb I had left. A cold, death-like wind swept across the shore, seeming to issue from a pale mouth of cloud upon the horizon. Sign of life was nowhere visible. I wandered over ...
— Phantastes - A Faerie Romance for Men and Women • George MacDonald

... minutes later, the three women and Joseph were alone in the salon, where the floor was never waxed, only swept, and the worsted-work designs in oaken frames with grooved mouldings, and all the other plain and rather dismal furniture seemed to Madame Bridau to be in exactly the same state as when she had left Issoudun. Monarchy, Revolution, Empire, and Restoration, which respected little, had certainly respected ...
— The Two Brothers • Honore de Balzac

... its lofty staff, bathed in the golden, glowing atmosphere of this January day, may, in an instant's space, give place to the red signal of danger; the bugle, now silent, may at any moment blare out its loud and dismal note of warning; the bells that call with peaceful insistence, "Come to church! come to church!" in the twinkling of an eye may be clanging scared townsfolk to their burrowed hiding-places. You never know. For General Brounckers, ...
— The Dop Doctor • Clotilde Inez Mary Graves

... a dismal chord suggestive of an attack of asthma, the half-breed reattacked the "ne-vaire, ne-vaire, ne-vaire" in a manner that made up in energy what it lacked in music, and the collie raised his head to add a long-drawn ...
— The Fiery Totem - A Tale of Adventure in the Canadian North-West • Argyll Saxby

... of his frightful precise countenance remains with me, though hardly can I recollect it without trembling; especially when I call to mind our meeting in the gallery, when he graciously advanced his filthy square cap as a sign for me to enter his apartment, which appeared more dismal in my apprehension than a dungeon. Let any one judge the contrast between my present master and the elegant ...
— The Confessions of J. J. Rousseau, Complete • Jean Jacques Rousseau

... buildings are not given in Mossman's sketch, they probably belong to the end of the year, or possibly tide over into 1841. Towards the foot of the market slope the first Custom House was being built, and of that dismal, dark-brown indurated sandstone, of which other places—St. James's Church, the old gaol, etc.—were also built, because it was so ...
— Personal Recollections of Early Melbourne & Victoria • William Westgarth

... happy! and when she must go west, she is so sad! Eastward she does go! Southward she does go! True to the instinct which sends us all home, she tracks undirected and without a sail fifteen hundred miles of that sea, without a beacon, which separates her from her own. And so goes a dismal year. "Perhaps another spring they will come and find me out, and fix things below. It is getting dreadfully damp down there; and I cannot keep the guns bright and the floors dry," No, good old "Resolute." May and June ...
— The Man Without a Country and Other Tales • Edward E. Hale

... a full three hundred yards from any other dwelling. Its front faced the road, and at the back an outhouse and a wretched garden jutted out on the waste land. There was a light in each of its windows tonight, and as I passed down the road I heard the dismal music of ...
— Noughts and Crosses • Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... That dismal festivity of the meadow marked the time when Maurice began to live in his own house only from a sense of duty ... and because Edith was there! A fact which Eleanor's aunt recognized almost as soon as Eleanor did; ...
— The Vehement Flame • Margaret Wade Campbell Deland

... of the Fleet. Frequently flooded by the river, these dungeons were exceedingly damp and unwholesome; and they were reserved for such prisoners as had incurred the censure of the inexorable Court of Star-Chamber. It was in one of the deepest and most dismal of these cells that the unfortunate Sir Ferdinando ...
— The Star-Chamber, Volume 2 - An Historical Romance • W. Harrison Ainsworth

... emitted a deep, depressed low of remonstrance against the rain, and the irking of the yoke, and the herbage just beyond his reach. The jurymen might see him through the logs, and now and again one of them mechanically ducked his head to look out upon the dismal aspect of the chimney and orchard, round which so many horses and wagons had not gathered since the daughter of the house was long ago married here. There was a sprinkle of gray in his hair, and he remembered the jollities of the wedding,—incongruous ...
— The Mystery of Witch-Face Mountain and Other Stories • Charles Egbert Craddock

... these two unelastic young people, I felt even my native good spirits beginning to sink. If we had been all three down in the bottom of a dry well in a wilderness, we could hardly have surveyed a more dismal prospect than the prospect we were contemplating now. By good luck, Oscar, like Lucilla, was passionately fond of music. We turned to the piano as our best resource in those days of our adversity. Lucilla and I took it in turns to play, and Oscar listened. I have to report that we got through a ...
— Poor Miss Finch • Wilkie Collins

... Atlanta, Dallas or Des Moines. Meals expanded, Florette bought a rhinestone-covered comb, and the two adventurers indulged in an orgy of chocolate drops. With the optimism of the actor, they forgot all about the dismal past weeks, and saw the new ...
— O. Henry Memorial Award Prize Stories of 1921 • Various

... nearer to her as he spoke; meanwhile Von Glauben, with a disconsolate air, had joined Sir Roger de Launay, who, by an enquiring look and anxious uplifting of his eyebrows, dumbly asked what was to be the upshot of this affair,—only to receive a dismal shake of ...
— Temporal Power • Marie Corelli

... Oh, come, come, Gerald... don't bother your head with things like that! You're a poet... you must keep your imagination free from such dismal matters.... See, I've got a job for you. [Pointing to books on table.] Do you notice ...
— Prince Hagen • Upton Sinclair

... bright yet mellow light of the sunny autumn noontide, the blacks and roans and smoked drabs of the low old brick front looked more dingy to his eye than ever. It spoke of antiquity, no doubt, but it was a dismal and graceless antiquity of narrow purposes and niggling thrift. It was so little like the antiquity, for example, of Hadlow House, that the two might have computed their age by the chronological systems of different planets. Although his sister's married name was ...
— The Market-Place • Harold Frederic

... cheer him. Besides, though Cassy had laughed, there had been a tugging at her heartstrings. Shabby, unkempt, in a frayed dressing-gown, his arm in a dismal sling, he looked so out of it, so ...
— The Paliser case • Edgar Saltus

... sat throughout this discourse as stunned as if a bomb had dropped on the roof. They were still discussing it when I left Paris. No doubt it is already beginning to bear fruit. Few of them but have that most dismal of all fireside ornaments, a half-effaced old-maid sister, one of the most tragic and pitiable objects in France. The noble attributes which her drab and eventless life sometimes leave un-withered were superbly demonstrated to the ...
— The Living Present • Gertrude Franklin Horn Atherton

... found that it was nearly nine o'clock. The boat had been late in starting, and was so heavily laden as to make slow progress against wind and tide. Edith's heart sank within her at the thought of landing alone in a strange place that dismal night. It was indeed a new experience to her. But she donned her waterproof, and the moment the boat touched the wharf, hurried ashore, and stood under her small umbrella, while her household gods were being hustled out into the drenching rain. She knew the injury that must result ...
— What Can She Do? • Edward Payson Roe

... Dismal scenes were to be found at the hospital camp by Intombi Spruit. Here, in a town of white tents, under the shadow of Bulwana, were collected upwards of two thousand sick and wounded—a fifth of the entire garrison. They were spared ...
— London to Ladysmith via Pretoria • Winston Spencer Churchill

... have sometimes thought it is with the coming of the Woman upon the stage of a man's life. If the scenes have shifted for a while too long, monopolized by the old dismal male actors whose trick and pose and accent he knows so well and understands too easily,—and if, then, half-through the drama, late and longed-for, tardily and splendidly, comes the Star, and if she be a fine creature, of a high fame, ...
— The Gates Between • Elizabeth Stuart Phelps

... and with a steadier voice, but her eyes hung upon his face with an eager look of expectation, as if yearning to detect there some gleam of hope, some contradiction of the dismal truth. He read that look aright and it pierced him like a sharp sword. He made a brave effort to respond to its appeal, but his features seemed hard as stone, and he could only cry out against his destiny, and bewail his misfortune ...
— Short Story Classics (American) Vol. 2 • Various

... where he had arrived about six months before, was the result; that he had not been more than a month in the country when he and several other convicts ran away from the master to whom they had been assigned, and took to the bush. Such was the brief but dismal ...
— Wilson's Tales of the Borders and of Scotland, XXII • various

... was the girl who, as that rainy, dismal day drew to its close and the sun went down in tears, dressed herself with a firm, unflinching hand, arranging her hair with more than usual care, giving it occasionally a sharp pull, as a kind of escape valve to her feelings ...
— Darkness and Daylight • Mary J. Holmes

... can spoil it but myself," said Armine. "And you know he said that one might make weakliness and sickness just as golden, by that great Love, as being up and doing. I was going to tell you, Babie, I was horridly wretched and dismal one day at Leukerbad when I thought mother and all were out of the way-gone out driving, I believe-and then Fordham came in. He had stayed in, I do believe, ...
— Magnum Bonum • Charlotte M. Yonge

... dismal and dirty on this autumn afternoon with the pitiless rain and murky sky; but when the little party reached the quiet suburban cemetery, the clouds had somewhat dispersed, though the late flowers which yet remained to gladden the earth drooped with the heavy moisture; and when the ...
— Little Pollie - A Bunch of Violets • Gertrude P. Dyer

... dismal, a shallow vale between dark slopes of spruce. Grass, fire-wood, and water were there in abundance. All the men were off, throwing saddles and packs, before the tired girl made an effort to get down. Riggs, observing her, made a not ungentle move to pull ...
— The Man of the Forest • Zane Grey

... of course," he said, in a normally dismal tone, "that it would be extremely difficult to set down the ship which carried Snookums, and that we could expect the final base to be anywhere from ten to thirty miles from the original, temporary base." He looked round at everyone, ...
— Unwise Child • Gordon Randall Garrett

... moon rose, the stars glittered; the infinite leaves stood out dark and solid, as if cut out of black marble; all was dismal silence and dread suspense to the ...
— A Terrible Temptation - A Story of To-Day • Charles Reade

... overcome by such a journey because he had missed two meals, and she smiled at her aunt's dismal picture, answering her with a flippancy which increased the elder lady's indignation, "Mr. Thurston ...
— Thurston of Orchard Valley • Harold Bindloss

... let thirty days pass on, and bear the reader South of the Potomac, beyond the Federal lines and within rifle-shot of an advanced picket of the Confederate army, under General Beauregard. It was a dismal night—the 16th of July. The rain fell heavily and the wind moaned and shrieked through the lone forests like unhappy spirits wailing in the darkness. A solitary horseman was cautiously wending his way through ...
— Fort Lafayette or, Love and Secession • Benjamin Wood

... horses, and a shabby, gaudy postilion,—the wheels clattering, the bells on the horses' necks jingling, the cock's-plumes on their heads nodding, and a half-dozen sturdy beggar-brats running at our side and singing a dismal chorus of "Dateci qualche cosa." Two or three half-baiocchi, however, bought them off, and we had the road to ourselves. The day was charming, the sky cloudless, the air tender and with that delicious odor of the South which so soothingly ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 3, No. 18, April, 1859 - [Date last updated: August 7, 2005] • Various

... south, where had been rude board shanties, mud, and chaos, one or two pretty cottages had been built, having green blinds, and neatly arranged gardens and lawns. A medium sized wharf and gravelled banks had arisen where was only a dismal swamp, while away over the prairie lay the iron rails of the St. Vincent and St. Paul extension line, soon to be running in connexion with the Pembina branch of the Canada Pacific at the boundary, when the tedious trip upon Red River can be avoided. The side tracks ...
— A Trip to Manitoba • Mary FitzGibbon

... were carelessly scattered around. A solitary window, partly blocked up by an old mattress, barely admitted light sufficient to make objects visible. All was neglect and desolation. It seemed almost impossible that so obscure and dismal a lodging could have been occupied by so illustrious a tenant. I fancied I beheld the most learned man of his age, the counsellor and companion of princes, and the contemporary and rival of Sir Thomas More, indulging his classical reveries in this comfortless ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, No. 388 - Vol. 14, No. 388, Saturday, September 5, 1829. • Various

... our ranks upon the muddy esplanade of the Benton Barracks, patiently waiting for the A. A. A. G. and the P. Q. M. to get through the voluminous correspondence which was to result in quarters and rations. At least twenty thousand men were crowded at that time into this dismal quadrangle. Perseverance and patience could overcome the prevalent impression at the commissary that every new regiment was a set of unlawful intruders, to be starved out if possible, but could not conquer the difficulty of crowding material bodies into less space than they had been created to ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. III, No. V, May, 1863 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... negroes took down the tent, and pulled up the stakes; and all was in motion in as little time as it was set up. In this posture we marched eight days, and yet could see no end, no change of our prospect, but all looking as wild and dismal as at the beginning. If there was any alteration, it was that the sand was nowhere so deep and heavy as it was the first three days. This we thought might be because, for six months of the year the winds blowing west (as for the other six they blow constantly east), the sand was driven violently ...
— The Life, Adventures & Piracies of the Famous Captain Singleton • Daniel Defoe

... governor arose, and went immediately into the theatre; and all the people went forth to see the dismal sight. ...
— The Forbidden Gospels and Epistles, Complete • Archbishop Wake

... knew of the engagement, and approved of the same, although some hinted that Lucy Kendal would have been wiser to marry the soldier-baronet. Amongst these was Widow Anne, who really was Mrs. Bolton, the mother of Sidney, a dismal female invariably arrayed in rusty, stuffy, aggressive mourning, although her husband had been dead for over twenty years. Because of this same mourning, and because she was always talking of the dead, she was ...
— The Green Mummy • Fergus Hume

... of good connections, perhaps too much accustomed to private means to be expected to be businesslike. If we were somewhat larger-minded people, we should know that he might be as wise as Socrates and as splendid as Bayard and yet be unfitted, perhaps one should say therefore be unfitted, for the dismal and dirty gambling of modern commerce. But whether we were snobbish enough to admire him for being an idler, or chivalrous enough to admire him for being an outlaw, in neither case should we ever really and in our hearts despise him for being a failure. For it ...
— What I Saw in America • G. K. Chesterton

... A dismal and despairing strain indeed, but the situation unhappily was not less desperate. We are, in fact, entering upon that period of Coleridge's life—a period, roughly speaking, of about ten years—which no admirer of his genius, ...
— English Men of Letters: Coleridge • H. D. Traill

... breath. He felt as if he could get no further. "But," he says in his affecting narrative, "My dear Saviour to whom I turned in this time of need, helped me wonderfully. I felt now, more than ever in my life, His gracious and comforting presence, and believed, in that dismal moment, with my whole soul, His holy word;" "My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect ...
— Life in the Grey Nunnery at Montreal • Sarah J Richardson

... surrender. At sunset, the Merrimac returned to Norfolk, awaiting, the next day, an easy victory over the rest of the Union fleet. All was delight and anticipation among the Confederates; all was dismay and dismal foreboding among the Federals. That night the Monitor arrived ...
— A Brief History of the United States • Barnes & Co.

... of the revels might begin to look at those towers of wood and pasteboard with a sort of pain, and perhaps put them away in a corner, as a child will tire of a toy especially if it is associated with a disappointment or a dismal misunderstanding. There is noticeable in some of the later popular poems a disposition to sulk about the Crusades. But though the popular feeling had been largely poetical, the same thing did in its degree occur in the political realm that was purely ...
— The New Jerusalem • G. K. Chesterton

... Christmas. The shop windows have had a holiday look all December. I see one every day in which are displayed all the varieties of fruits, vegetables, and confectionery possible to be desired for a feast, done in wax,—a most dismal exhibition, and calculated to make the adjoining window, which has a little fountain and some green plants waving amidst enormous pendent sausages and pigs' heads and various disagreeable hashes of pressed meat, positively enticing. ...
— Baddeck and That Sort of Thing • Charles Dudley Warner

... dormitory along with Tom and myself, were jumping out of bed and dressing as hurriedly as they could in the semi-darkness of the wintry morning, which the twinkling of the solitary gas-jet, still alight near the door, over Smiley's couch, rendered even more dusky and dismal ...
— On Board the Esmeralda - Martin Leigh's Log - A Sea Story • John Conroy Hutcheson

... Of all the dismal accompaniments of public worship in the early days of New England, the music was the most hopelessly forlorn,—not alone from the confused versifications of the Psalms which were used, but from the mournful monotony of the few known tunes and the horrible manner in which ...
— Sabbath in Puritan New England • Alice Morse Earle

... still hung off, though the sky was cold and lowering, and toward night a misty rain began falling. It did not become severe at any time, but it added to the dismal gloom. The wind blew in gusts, much the same as on the previous evening, and the temperature fell until, had the cowmen been less accustomed to exposure, they would have suffered more ...
— The Great Cattle Trail • Edward S. Ellis

... Perhaps I did do just a little too much yesterday. The opera after the garden party, and a ball after the opera, and this tiresome cough all night after the ball. Quite a series, isn't it? Make my apologies to our dear dismal Romayne—and if you drive out this afternoon, come and have a chat with me. Your affectionate mother, Emily Eyrecourt. P. S.—You know what a fidget Matilda is. If she talks about me, don't believe a word ...
— The Black Robe • Wilkie Collins

... national manners. His contempt for Spanish landscape appears to us to amount to a disease: he scorns honest Murray for describing Valencia's mud huts as "pearls set in emeralds," and says that O'Shea's eulogy of her as "the sultana of Mediterranean cities" is a glowing picture of what is dismal enough in reality. In fact, we are afraid that Mr. Hare has not exactly the artist's eye, and cannot easily admire a scene in which he is not physically comfortable. But he has rich and heart-warm descriptions of the Alhambra, the Escorial, and the ruins of Poblet near Tarragona, ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science - April, 1873, Vol. XI, No. 25. • Various

... through the open window and chilled the silent room, and the dead coals in the grate dropped one by one into the fender with a dismal echoing clatter; but the Picture still sat in the armchair with the same graceful pose and the same lovely expression, and smiled sweetly at ...
— The Exiles and Other Stories • Richard Harding Davis

... a wide hall at the top of the house, the unceiled rafters above their heads, carpetless boards beneath their feet. Mabel set her waiter upon a worm-eaten, iron-bound chest, and went further down the passage to get the key of the north room. Her light footstep stirred dismal echoes in the dark corners; the wind screamed through every crack and keyhole, like a legion of piping devils; rumbled lugubriously over the steep roof. The one candle flickering in the draught showed Mabel's white bust and arms, ...
— At Last • Marion Harland

... to the world He was leaving, these words are surely His greeting to that on whose confines He was standing. It seems as though the spirit of Christ were poising itself before it departed to the Father, and it saw before no dismal abyss, no gulf of darkness, no footless chaos, but hands, even the hands of the Father, and ...
— Love to the Uttermost - Expositions of John XIII.-XXI. • F. B. Meyer

... and ask Mrs. Flint to allow us to take Poppy with us. I am so sorry Poppy feels dull. Now, girls, we must just make up our minds not to do that—we must keep up brave hearts, and not sigh and look dismal; that would never do. We have elected our own course, and if we are not courageous we shall be beaten. I for one am determined ...
— The Palace Beautiful - A Story for Girls • L. T. Meade

... this change of hour, pelted off toward the Corn Market as fast as legs could take me, which was the undoing of a little round citizen into whom I ran full tilt at the corner of Balliol College: who, before I could see his face in the darkness, was tipp'd on his back in the gutter and using the most dismal expressions. So I left him, considering that my excuses would be unsatisfying to his present demands, and to his ...
— The Splendid Spur • Arthur T. Quiller Couch

... the dismal sound of rain, and the trickling of water along the gutters, all about me was silent. Sometimes this silence would be broken by the distant, muffled note of a steam siren; and always, forming a sort of background ...
— The Return of Dr. Fu-Manchu • Sax Rohmer

... after their drive to the brown house was "library day," and she sat at her desk working at the revised catalogue, while the Targatt girl, one eye on the window, chanted out the titles of a pile of books. Charity's thoughts were far away, in the dismal house by the swamp, and under the twilight sky during the long drive home, when Lucius Harney had consoled her with endearing words. That day, for the first time since he had been boarding with them, he had failed to appear as usual at the midday meal. No message had come to explain his absence, ...
— Summer • Edith Wharton

... them in a moment, and they can think of nothing else, continually suspecting, no sooner are their eyes open, but this infernal plague of melancholy seizeth on them, and terrifies their souls, representing some dismal object to their minds, which now by no means, no labour, no persuasions they can avoid, haeret lateri lethalis arundo, (the arrow of death still remains in the side), they may not be rid of it, [1561]they cannot resist. I may not deny but that there ...
— The Anatomy of Melancholy • Democritus Junior

... illuminated Missals, said to be the finest in Italy. Though the idea of gaiety seems inconsistent with Ferrara, they have an opera, corso, and the same round of festivals and merriment as other Italian towns, but I never saw so dismal a place. ...
— The Greville Memoirs - A Journal of the Reigns of King George IV and King William - IV, Volume 1 (of 3) • Charles C. F. Greville

... where they are going. Even if nothing more is said of it than that there is neither bread nor wine therein, that is enough to daunt a giant. Then those who by their strength of character overcome these difficulties at the edge of the water are frightened at the sea, and at the dismal prophecies that are usually current, that the fleet will be lost on account of sailing very late (as it almost always does) from Espana. Thus many of the religious have not courage to embark; while those who overcome this difficulty and do go aboard, being new ...
— The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898: Volume XIV., 1606-1609 • Various

... shootings, buds, blossoms, and scions of the vines by hoary frost, dank fogs, hot mists, unseasonable colds, chill blasts, thick hail, and other calamitous chances of foul weather, happening, as he thought, by the dismal inauspiciousness of the holy days of St. George, St. Mary, St. Paul, St. Eutrope, Holy Rood, the Ascension, and other festivals, in that time when the sun passeth under the sign of Taurus; and thereupon harboured ...
— Gargantua and Pantagruel, Complete. • Francois Rabelais

... the harbor and city of Cleveland on the 30th of June, 1818, having spent nine dismal days on the schooner Ben Franklin, in the passage from Black Rock. He was landed in a yawl, at the mouth of the river, near a bluff that stood where the Toledo Railroad Machine Shops have since been built, about seventy-five rods west of the present entrance to the harbor. ...
— Cleveland Past and Present - Its Representative Men, etc. • Maurice Joblin

... peace and love without fulfilling certain mental conditions—that he would not have her just as she was now, filled her with an undefined but terribly real misery, only the more distressing that it was vague with the vagueness of the dismal ...
— Alec Forbes of Howglen • George MacDonald

... the garden; such stuff one stored in match-boxes and pill-boxes, or packed in sacks of old glove fingers tied up with thread and sent off by waggons along the great military road to the beleaguered fortress on the Indian frontier beyond the worn places that were dismal swamps. And there were battles ...
— The New Machiavelli • Herbert George Wells

... the colony was but about one hundred men. Three hundred of the pioneers, dismayed by the cloud of menace, every hour growing blacker, had returned across the moutains. There were but twenty-two armed men left in the fort at Boonesborough. The dismal winter passed slowly away, and the spring opened replete with nature's bloom and beauty, but darkened by the depravity of man. On the fifteenth of April, a band of a hundred howling Indians appeared in the forest before Boonesborough. With far more than their ordinary ...
— Daniel Boone - The Pioneer of Kentucky • John S. C. Abbott

... unconscious counterpart of father and the little girl without. And how we gathered round her when father brought her in, and mother fixed a cozy chair for her close to the blazing fire, and untied the little summer hat, with its hectic trimmings, together with the dismal green veil that had been bound beneath it round the little tingling ears. The hollow, pale blue eyes of the child followed every motion with an alertness that suggested ...
— Complete Works of James Whitcomb Riley • James Whitcomb Riley

... I pray you, accumulate reasons why I should receive such a dismal, awful superstition. Oh, do not, Marchdale, ...
— Varney the Vampire - Or the Feast of Blood • Thomas Preskett Prest

... after he had left me, everything seemed so strange, every one seemed so dull, every place seemed so desolate, that I felt as if I had been transported into some dismal scene, where I knew no one, and where there was no one likely to care about me in the slightest degree. My father went about his avocations in a different spirit to what he had so long been used to exhibit; it was evident he missed Heinrich as much as I did, and the villagers stared ...
— The Little Savage • Captain Marryat

... is war-weary; resentful of all authority; "bored stiff" by any music save of the syncopated brand, and he divides his time between Jazz-dancing with the dismal fervour of a gloomy dean and attending meetings of ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 159, September 1st, 1920 • Various

... be added the appropriation of $250,000 to commence the erection of a break-water near the mouth of the Delaware River, the subscriptions to the Delaware and Chesapeake, the Louisville and Portland, the Dismal Swamp, and the Chesapeake and Ohio canals, the large donations of lands to the States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Alabama for objects of improvements within those States, and the sums appropriated for light-houses, buoys, and piers on the ...
— State of the Union Addresses of John Quincy Adams • John Quincy Adams

... taking a path that led to the north, we quietly and stealthily continued our march through walls of high grass, until in about an hour we arrived in a totally different country. There was no longer the dismal grass jungle in which a man was as much lost as a rabbit in a field of corn, but beautiful park-like glades of rich and tender grass, like an English meadow, stretched before us in the pale moonlight, darkened ...
— The Albert N'Yanza, Great Basin of the Nile • Sir Samuel White Baker

... chamber," we stood rather in dread. It is very remarkable that there seem to be no ghost-stories connected with any part of the house, particularly this. We are neither of us nervous; but there is certainly something dismal about the room. The huge curtained bed and immense easy-chairs, windows, and everything were draped in some old-fashioned kind of white cloth which always seemed to be waving and moving about of itself. The carpet was most singularly colored with ...
— Deephaven and Selected Stories & Sketches • Sarah Orne Jewett

... obtainable at that time, being breech-loading Springfields and Spencers of the latest pattern. Their field-piece (which was a breech-loading rifled steel gun) was captured on Canadian soil, and is one of the trophies held by the Missisquoi Home Guard in memory of O'Neil's dismal failure ...
— Troublous Times in Canada - A History of the Fenian Raids of 1866 and 1870 • John A. Macdonald

... "lying on the floor as thickly as they could be packed." One room with 960 feet of air contained four patients. Dr. Hammond's description of the eighty-three rooms and the condition of the patients in them seems to justify the terms he frequently uses. "Halls very dirty." "Rooms dismal and badly ventilated." "Utmost confusion appears to exist about each hospital; consequently, duties are neglected, and a state of the most disgusting want of cleanliness exists." [72] Happily, the wise and generous suggestions ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 10, Number 60, October 1862 • Various



Words linked to "Dismal" :   disconsolate, drab, dingy, drear, grim, depressing, blue, gloomy, uncheerful, dark, cheerless, dreary



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