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Dull   Listen
verb
Dull  v. t.  (past & past part. duller; pres. part. dulling)  
1.
To deprive of sharpness of edge or point. "This... dulled their swords." "Borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry."
2.
To make dull, stupid, or sluggish; to stupefy, as the senses, the feelings, the perceptions, and the like. "Those (drugs) she has Will stupefy and dull the sense a while." "Use and custom have so dulled our eyes."
3.
To render dim or obscure; to sully; to tarnish. "Dulls the mirror."
4.
To deprive of liveliness or activity; to render heavy; to make inert; to depress; to weary; to sadden. "Attention of mind... wasted or dulled through continuance."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Dull" Quotes from Famous Books



... like you," said Miss Sophia, "I might think more about it; but they are such a dull set; there seems to be no life ...
— The Wide, Wide World • Elizabeth Wetherell

... throng, As it wheels and whirls along? On! on! the lustres Like hell-stars bicker: Let us twine in closer clusters. On! on! ever thicker and quicker! How the silly things throb, throb amain! Hence, all quiet! Hither, riot! Peal more proudly, Squeal more loudly, Ye cymbals, ye trumpets! Be-dull all pain, Till it ...
— The Uncollected Writings of Thomas de Quincey, Vol. 2 - With a Preface and Annotations by James Hogg • Thomas de Quincey

... Coleridge went ahead, completed the plot and gave the poem to the world. And once he said, half-boastfully, to Dorothy: "This old seafaring poem is valuable in that it is a tale no one will understand, but which will excite universal interest. Only the perfectly sane and sensible is dull." ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Volume 5 (of 14) • Elbert Hubbard

... and generous passions which do sometimes accompany the perpetration of great crimes, and, without excusing the individual, vindicate the species. Yet, on the other hand, their sanguinary wickedness was not the dull ferocity of brutes; it was accompanied with instruction and culture,—nay, it seemed to me, on studying their lives and pondering over their own letters, that through their cultivation itself we could arrive at the secret ...
— Lucretia, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... And rarely in our borders may you meet The tall larch, sighing in the burying-place, Or willow, trailing low its boughs to hide The gleaming marble. Naked rows of graves And melancholy ranks of monuments Are seen instead, where the coarse grass, between, Shoots up its dull green spikes, and in the wind Hisses, and the neglected bramble nigh, Offers its berries to the schoolboy's hand, In vain—they grow too near the dead. Yet here, Nature, rebuking the neglect of man, Plants often, by the ancient ...
— Poems • William Cullen Bryant

... wrong; and if you say it in that sort of dull way, I can quite understand the rain not taking any notice. You should open the window and shout as loud ...
— The Phoenix and the Carpet • E. Nesbit

... which one of our horses carried, was unaccountably broken at our last camp; and it was quite a misery to hear its dull jarring sound, instead of the former cheerful tinkling. One of our horses had separated from the rest, and had gone so far up the creek, that Charley did not return with it until very late in the afternoon ...
— Journal of an Overland Expedition in Australia • Ludwig Leichhardt

... large nor small, Its air and situation sweet and pretty. It matters very little if at all. Whether its denizens are dull or witty. Whether the ladies there are short or tall, Brunettes or blondes—only there stands a city. Perhaps 'tis also requisite to minute, That there's a castle and a cobbler in it. It is not big enough to boast a barber. These ...
— Ireland as It Is - And as It Would be Under Home Rule • Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)

... out among the daily bulletins of snipings, skirmishes, and endless marchings which make the dull chronicle of these, the last months of the year 1900. These must be enumerated without any attempt at connecting them. The first is the long-drawn-out siege or investment of Schweizer-Renecke. This ...
— The Great Boer War • Arthur Conan Doyle

... that the village lights far below in the hollow all but lost their own identity in the radiance of that huge, pale moon; so white that the yellow flare of the single lamp in its bracket, in the back kitchen of the old Bolton place on the hill seemed shabbily dull by contrast. ...
— Once to Every Man • Larry Evans

... therefore, be understood as expecting any immediate results, were it in my power to bring these matters promptly and prominently before the nation. I fully know I should not be heard, were the attempt made; for nothing is more dull than the ear of him who believes himself already in possession of all the knowledge and virtue of his age, and peculiarly entitled, in right of his possessions, to the exclusive control of human affairs. The most that I should expect ...
— A Residence in France - With An Excursion Up The Rhine, And A Second Visit To Switzerland • J. Fenimore Cooper

... three, with nothing in the world to do but to traipse off 'cross the fields from mornin' to night—an' nobody to need her there nor here, nor anywhere. No wonder she looks peaked. Sometimes when I see her set and stare off, so sort o' dull and hopeless, I'm so sorry for her I could cry! Good land! I'd as lief hire somebody to chew my vittles for me and give me the dry cud to live off of, as do the way those kind ...
— Hillsboro People • Dorothy Canfield

... he scrambled up the side of the well, and the last of him that appeared, his boots, namely, bore testimony enough to his having reached the water. Willie peered down into the well, and caught the dull glimmer of it through the stones; then, a good deal disappointed, followed Sandy as he strode away ...
— Gutta-Percha Willie • George MacDonald

... State under James I., and was Comptroller of the Household to Charles I. He was said to have been a quiet, grave, and serious man, of sound judgment and good business habits. Aubrey disposes of him summarily enough, with the remark that 'he was but a dull fellow.' Had his wife been of the same pattern, the worthy couple might well have been astonished at the lively capers of their progeny; but we have reason to believe that the frolicksome courtier and poet ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 2 No 4, October, 1862 - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... He, however, who is conversant with the true meaning of a treatise, is said to have studied that treatise to purpose. Questioned regarding the meaning of a text, it behoveth one to communicate that meaning which he has comprehended by a careful study. That person of dull intelligence who refuses to expound the meanings of texts in the midst of a conclave of the learned, that person of foolish understanding, never succeeds in expounding the meaning correctly.[1618] ...
— The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 3 - Books 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 • Unknown

... did so the dull roar of heavy guns broke out in the direction of Harwich, shaking the earth under Captain Jemmy's feet. It was the town's parting salute to his Majesty King William the Third. And at the same moment the leading ship of the royal squadron swung out of harbour on ...
— The Blue Pavilions • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... Michael heard steps coming. Then a struggle and a shrill giggle. Some young people were coming to the wake, and he knew a boy had tried to kiss a girl in the dark. He felt a dull surge of resentment. ...
— The Best Short Stories of 1915 - And the Yearbook of the American Short Story • Various

... excuse. In your faithful charge do we leave this miserable one until Holy Church shall require him of you." So saying, Fra Alexo, crossing lean hands meekly on his bosom, bowed himself in humble fashion, and yet I thought to see his dull eyes lit by that stealthy glow as Don Federigo, having duly ...
— Martin Conisby's Vengeance • Jeffery Farnol

... last people in the world to flit across my mind whilst gazing at the forge from the bottom of the dark lane. The truth is, they are highly unpoetical fellows, as well they may be, connected as they are with Grecian mythology. At the very mention of their names the forge burns dull and dim, as if snow-balls had been suddenly flung into it; the only remedy is to ply the bellows, an operation which I now ...
— Lavengro - The Scholar, The Gypsy, The Priest • George Borrow

... dull pain in my side soon brought back to me that clear, fresh morning on the bank of the Elk, and for ...
— The Tory Maid • Herbert Baird Stimpson

... Poor mamma has been so unhappy. And that reminds me: you are a wicked man, papa. But I love you all one for that. It tis so dull when everybody is good like mamma; and she makes me dreadfully good too; but now you are come back, there will be a little, little wickedness again, it is to be hoped. Aren't you glad you are not dead, and are come home ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 18, No. 105, July 1866 • Various

... scent had an indescribably tingling, spicy odor, and left a cool and grateful sensation in one's parched and dry throat. My blurred vision cleared, my dull and throbbing ...
— A Woman Named Smith • Marie Conway Oemler

... trenches slouched wearily in the side streets, and staff officers in motor-cars with glaring headlights and shrieking horns threaded their way between the wagons and the guns. From beyond the town dull shocks of noise grumbled, like distant thunder-claps, and through the tremulous dusk of the sky there came an irregular repetition ...
— The Soul of the War • Philip Gibbs

... children dear: For in the Fish* their lady sat full *Pisces And looked on them with a friendly eye. This noble king is set upon his throne; This strange knight is fetched to him full sone,* *soon And on the dance he goes with Canace. Here is the revel and the jollity, That is not able a dull man to devise:* *describe He must have knowen love and his service, And been a feastly* man, as fresh as May, *merry, gay That shoulde you devise such array. Who coulde telle you the form of dances So uncouth,* and so freshe ...
— The Canterbury Tales and Other Poems • Geoffrey Chaucer

... became greater. 'For the last few days,' he wrote on June 1, 'it has been very hot; quite as hot, they say, as it ever is. I am longing for the rains, which are to cool us, I am told.' The rains came, and, so long as they continued to fall, the temperature was lower: but 'the heavy, dull, damp, calm heat between the ...
— Letters and Journals of James, Eighth Earl of Elgin • James, Eighth Earl of Elgin

... leant dreamily back in her chair when the meal was over, her eyes on the landscape. They two alone—on that warm summer lake—drifting in the moonlight—heart against heart, cheek against cheek. A shiver ran through her, which was partly passion, partly a dull fear. But she banished fear. Nothing—nothing should spoil their ...
— Missing • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... the short distance from Great Portland Street station. It was a fine day with a red sunset, and a lemon-coloured, thin moon-crescent above the sunset. The trees and bushes of Park Crescent were a background of dull blue haze. The surface of the broad roads was dry and polished, so his neat, patent-leather boots would still be fit for ...
— Mrs. Warren's Daughter - A Story of the Woman's Movement • Sir Harry Johnston

... I spent the morning in writing farewell letters, and making the final preparations for leaving. At one o'clock I went on board the "Manhattan," which was still quite empty. In order to have something to do by which to while away the slow dull hours yet remaining, I commenced writing a letter. None of my friends or acquaintances being with me, I bid all my farewells by note. But such writing! Though the vessel was locked to the pier by immense cables, still ...
— The Youthful Wanderer - An Account of a Tour through England, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany • George H. Heffner

... invariably owed its existence to some sally made by his son, Alfred Pleydell, gay, light-hearted, debonnaire, at the far end of the table. When Sir John's thoughtful eyes rested on his motherless son, a dull and suppressed light gleamed momentarily beneath his heavy lids. Superficial observers said that John Pleydell was an ambitious man; 'not for himself,' added the ...
— In Kedar's Tents • Henry Seton Merriman

... the order of the President was not honoured for three hours, and Mrs. Cameron paced the street in angry impatience at first and then in dull despair. ...
— The Clansman - An Historical Romance of the Ku Klux Klan • Thomas Dixon

... THE QUEEN.—Louis XVI. differed from his two predecessors in being morally pure, and benevolent in his feelings; but he was of a dull mind, void of energy, and with an obstinacy of character that did not supply the place of an enlightened firmness. He had married (1770) Marie Antoinette, the daughter of the Empress Maria Theresa. The vivacious young queen, as well as the youthful king, at first charmed the people. But ...
— Outline of Universal History • George Park Fisher

... 'Well, I was dull, and wanted someone to play with me,' he said at last, in a sulky voice, 'and I challenged the rock to catch me. Of course I thought I could run the fastest; but I tripped, and it rolled on me. ...
— The Brown Fairy Book • Andrew Lang

... On this, however, he faced to the window again and presently reached it with his vague, restless, cogitating step. He remained there awhile, with his forehead against the glass, in contemplation of the stupid shrubs I knew and the dull things of November. I had always my hypocrisy of "work," behind which, now, I gained the sofa. Steadying myself with it there as I had repeatedly done at those moments of torment that I have described as the moments of my knowing the children ...
— The Turn of the Screw • Henry James

... without training, especially in work of the hand or bodily activities. In the case of the noun, "an expert" denotes one who is "experienced" in the fullest sense, a master of his branch of knowledge. A skilled workman is one who has thoroughly learned his trade, though he may be naturally quite dull; a skilful workman has some natural brightness, ability, and power of adaptation, in addition to his acquired knowledge and dexterity. ...
— English Synonyms and Antonyms - With Notes on the Correct Use of Prepositions • James Champlin Fernald

... and gave a cry of delight. A diamond cross, worth all the rest of her presents put together, flashed soft lights from a background of dull velvet. Her husband had looked over her shoulder, and with a scowl seized the morocco case and threw it ...
— Peter Ruff and the Double Four • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... one letter!" Noll said to himself, as he hurried homeward. "Why, that's not a tenth of what I meant to do this afternoon! What dull wits they've got! and will they ever, ever learn the whole alphabet?" The prospect did not seem very encouraging, and he was obliged to confess himself disappointed with the result of the first day's lesson. "However, ...
— Culm Rock - The Story of a Year: What it Brought and What it Taught • Glance Gaylord

... expeditions to Paris, Germany, Austria, and Venice. Macallester informs us that Sullivan, who had been in Scotland with Charles in 1745, received a command in the French army mustering at Brest. He also tells a long dull story of Charles's incognito in Paris at this time: how he lived over a butcher's shop in the Rue de la Boucherie, seldom went out except at night, and was recognised at Mass by a woman who had ...
— Pickle the Spy • Andrew Lang

... Every minute, also, drew them deeper and deeper into the woods, and the path was a winding one, in which she soon became bewildered, until at last all sense of her whereabouts was utterly gone. At last even the idea of escaping ceased to suggest itself, and there remained only a dull despair, a sense of utter helplessness and hopelessness—the sense of one who is ...
— The American Baron • James De Mille

... truer statement than that "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy." In return for his work every citizen is entitled to enough compensation to enable him to provide not only for the bare necessities of life, such as food and shelter, but also for the pleasure that he derives from the satisfaction of his higher wants, such as social life and recreation, an education ...
— Community Civics and Rural Life • Arthur W. Dunn

... time, as he did not come back, I went to look for him. As I approached I heard a dull, thumping sound. When I reached the cleared place I found him digging. He had chosen a spot just in front of the quaint old door, with the rude, runic letters, which the earliest sunbeams would touch. As I came up I saw he was digging her grave. I offered to help, but he said "No." So I carried ...
— Elsket - 1891 • Thomas Nelson Page

... goodwill. He saw the family quarrel as something inevitable, touching, absurd—the work of a maleficent destiny which he might somehow undo and exorcise by the magic act of washing-up, to be followed by other acts of a more diplomatic and ingenious nature. And now the dull, distant symptoms of Mr. Haim on the stairs suddenly halted him at the very outset of his benignant machinations. He listened. If the peace of the world had depended upon his washing-up he could not have permitted himself to be actually ...
— The Roll-Call • Arnold Bennett

... in ever-closer succession, the uproar changing constantly from the shriek of the hundred-mile wind in the squall to the dull roar of the fifty-mile wind in between. The thunder crackled, without any after-rumble, and the trembling of the ground could be felt from the pounding of the terrific waves half a mile away. Then, in a long-drawn-out descending ...
— Plotting in Pirate Seas • Francis Rolt-Wheeler

... a certain night, by way of illustration—a bitter night, along toward the first of January—when trade was dull, as it always is after Christmas, and there was nobody in the store save Nat and Tracey. Each had their task, whatever it may have been, and each was busied with it, but of the two Tracey seemed the more restless. His ample, if low, forehead was decidedly corrugated; ...
— The Fortune Hunter • Louis Joseph Vance

... flycatcher he is named; but as a matter of fact, not only were the smaller flycatchers conspicuous by their absence, but the king himself was never seen, and the flying tribes of the insect world, so far as dull-eyed mortals could see, ...
— A Bird-Lover in the West • Olive Thorne Miller

... in her ear a few words which brought a paleness like that of death over the young girl's countenance. In her turn, Rosa gazed earnestly at the stranger, the contraction of whose features, and the dull glaze that overspread his eyes, betrayed the highest degree of exhaustion. His ashy-pale complexion, sunken cheeks, and hollow eyes, bespoke long privations and severe suffering; he looked more like a corpse thrown up ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 59, No. 367, May 1846 • Various

... rigour of our prison discipline rendered our lives one unvaried scene. The whole of 1824, of 1825, of 1826, of 1827, presented the same dull, dark aspect; and how we lived through years like these is wonderful. We were forbidden the use of books. The prison was one immense tomb, though without the peace and unconsciousness of death. The director of police came every month to institute the most strict and minute search, ...
— My Ten Years' Imprisonment • Silvio Pellico

... stopped at the end of two or three minutes from very weariness. But still Tim show'd no signs of motion; and as Lugare, provoked at his torpidity, jerk'd away one of the child's arms, on which he had been leaning over the desk, his head dropp'd down on the board with a dull sound, and his face lay turn'd up and exposed to view. When Lugare saw it, he stood like one transfix'd by a basilisk. His countenance turn'd to a leaden whiteness; the ratan dropp'd from his grasp; and his eyes, stretch'd ...
— Complete Prose Works - Specimen Days and Collect, November Boughs and Goodbye My Fancy • Walt Whitman

... unhappy-looking black sheep, all of whom he excelled in the art of foraging among the vines and the stubble of the surrounding wheat-lands. After the vineyards these opened and stretched themselves wearily, from low dull sky to low dull sky, nowise cheered in aspect by the squalid peasants, scratching their tawny expanses with those crooked prehistoric sticks which they use for plows in Spain. It was a dreary landscape, but it was good ...
— Familiar Spanish Travels • W. D. Howells

... criminal did not desert me. I ran to the door, but I sauntered through it, to plant myself before a Pompeiian fresco in the corridor; and there were the two attendants still gossiping outside the further door; nor did they hear the dull crash which I heard even as I watched them out of the corner ...
— Raffles - Further Adventures of the Amateur Cracksman • E. W. Hornung

... wineglass. Only two facts remain written on my heart. The first is that there is trouble ahead of me, curious and unusual trouble; and the second, that permanently, continually, I, or a part of me, have something to do with Africa, a country of which I know nothing except from a few very dull books. Also, by the way—this is a new thought—that I have a great deal to do with you. That is why I am so interested in Africa and you. Tell me about Africa and yourself now, while we have the chance." And she ended rather abruptly, adding in ...
— The Ivory Child • H. Rider Haggard

... cheerfulness should be the gift of the sunlight; the air should suffice for his inspiration, and he should be tipsy with water. That spirit which suffices quiet hearts, which seems to come forth to such from every dry knoll of sere grass, from every pine-stump and half-imbedded stone on which the dull March sun shines, comes forth to the poor and hungry, and such as are of simple taste. If thou fill thy brain with Boston and New York, with fashion and covetousness, and wilt stimulate thy jaded senses with wine and French coffee, thou shalt find no radiance of wisdom ...
— Essays, Second Series • Ralph Waldo Emerson

... His arms melted from her. He fell back a pace, very white and even trembling, the fire all gone from his eye, which was now turned dull and deadly. ...
— Mistress Wilding • Rafael Sabatini

... that the Catholic religion is unattractive, and that its worship is a dull, meaningless round of ceremony. Here they mistake. While Romanism is based upon deception, it is not a coarse and clumsy imposture. The religious service of the Roman Church is a most impressive ceremonial. Its gorgeous display and solemn rites fascinate the senses of the ...
— The Great Controversy Between Christ and Satan • Ellen G. White

... the King. When he heard the news he had a great tower built as quickly as possible, and there the Princess was shut up, and the King and Queen and her two brothers went to see her every day that she might not be dull. The eldest brother was called 'the Great Prince,' and the second 'the Little Prince.' They loved their sister dearly, for she was the sweetest, prettiest princess who was ever seen, and the least little smile from her was worth more than a hundred pieces of gold. When Rosette was fifteen years ...
— The Red Fairy Book • Various

... "What very dull acquaintances you must possess! Workers are the small fry who put spouters into Parliament, and pay them L400 a year, and make them ...
— The Strange Case of Mortimer Fenley • Louis Tracy

... in dull, monotonous tones. His eyes looked wearily and vacantly straight before him. I spoke to him again. He remained impenetrably silent; he appeared not to hear, or not to understand me. The surgeon came in, while I was still ...
— The Black Robe • Wilkie Collins

... a low level, to what may be called the mechanism of Jeanne's voices and visions is found in Professor Flournoy's patient, 'Helene Smith.'* Miss 'Smith,' a hardworking shopwoman in Geneva, had, as a child, been dull but dreamy. At about twelve years of age she began to see, and hear, a visionary being named Leopold, who, in life, had been Cagliostro. His appearance was probably suggested by an illustration in the Joseph Balsamo of Alexandre Dumas. The saints of Jeanne, ...
— The Valet's Tragedy and Other Stories • Andrew Lang

... of mature service, who had just joined the Battalion, was appointed Town Major. His task was not entirely enviable. Houses, roofless or otherwise, had to be subdivided into safe, doubtful, or certain to 'go up.' I cannot help regarding this Flanders retreat as a subject supremely dull. The constant suspicion of mines and booby-traps rendered doubly sordid the polluted ruins which formed the landmarks of our advance. One feature alone provided interest to some. We were approaching, from an odd direction as it seemed, ...
— The Story of the 2/4th Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry • G. K. Rose

... "Consider the lilies of the field how they grow." Christ made the lilies and He made me—both on the same broad principle. Both together, man and flower . . .; but as men are dull at studying themselves. He points to this companion-phenomenon to teach us how to live a free and natural life, a life which God will unfold for us, without our anxiety, as He unfolds the flower. Natural Law, Growth, ...
— Beautiful Thoughts • Henry Drummond

... Padre," he said gently. "I am dull of wit, I know. And you have often laughed at my superstitions and old family beliefs, whether religious or otherwise. They are strange—I admit that. And I shall die in the Church, and take my chances on the future, for I have tried to live a good life. But—with a man like ...
— Carmen Ariza • Charles Francis Stocking

... I think, of what we call folklore or anthropology, which to many seems trivial, to many seems dull. It may become the most attractive and serious of the sciences; certainly it is rich in strange curiosities, like those mystic stones which were fingered and arrayed by the pupils in that allegory of Novalis. I am not likely to regret the accident which brought ...
— Adventures among Books • Andrew Lang

... was undoubtedly taken by surprise this time. To be attacked in such a way by the very person he meant to attack, to be accounted the injurer by the very person who, he thought, had injured him, sufficed to stagger the blacksmith's dull brains. ...
— The Shadow of a Crime - A Cumbrian Romance • Hall Caine

... he had previously confounded with lack of modesty. And it was only the day before that day that he drifted, before he thought, into a discussion with her of "Camille." She had seen Bernhardt, and dwelt lovingly on the recollection. He went home afterwards, a dull pain gnawing at his heart, striving to reconcile Frona with the ideal impressed upon him by his mother that innocence was another term for ignorance. Notwithstanding, by the following day he had worked it out and loosened another finger of ...
— A Daughter of the Snows • Jack London

... with her youth and loveliness; and he, he said to himself in his humility with regard to her, he had so little to offer her—nothing but his love. He knew himself to be grave and quiet; there was nothing about him to enchain her to him. He lacked brilliancy in manner and conversation; he was dull; he was, perhaps, even prosy. He knew it very well himself; but suppose Vera should find it out, and find that she had made a mistake! The bare thought of it was enough to ...
— Vera Nevill - Poor Wisdom's Chance • Mrs. H. Lovett Cameron

... that it is so." The absence of restraint to desire in marriage, he continues, often leads to speedy disgust, and even apart from this, sexual intercourse, pregnancy, delivery, lactation, the bringing up of children, and all the pains and anxieties that accompany these things soon destroy youth and dull the point of pleasure. The virgin is free from these burdens. She retains her vigor and youthfulness, and even at the age of forty may rival the young nubile girl. "A double ardor thus burns in the heart of him who lives with her, and the gratification of desire never extinguishes the bright ...
— Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 6 (of 6) • Havelock Ellis

... rescue. As 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 when ...
— Happy Days • Alan Alexander Milne

... Penang. The pipe "up anchor" this morning was hailed with delight. Anything to change the dull monotony of the last few weeks. We started with an overcast and rainy sky, and by the next morning had reached Malacca, a small British settlement, essentially Malay, more a village than a town. ...
— In Eastern Seas - The Commission of H.M.S. 'Iron Duke,' flag-ship in China, 1878-83 • J. J. Smith

... was of red cloth, covered with fetishes and charms in cases of gold, silver, and embroidery. These were interspersed with the horns and tails of animals, small brass bells, and shells. They wore loose cotton trousers, with great boots of dull red leather coming halfway up to the thigh, and fastened by small chains to their waist belts, also ornamented with bells, horse tails, strings of amulets, and strips of colored leather. Long leopards' tails ...
— By Sheer Pluck - A Tale of the Ashanti War • G. A. Henty

... might win me from my waywardness. To be sure, when they found, on my return, that I had never left England, they were convinced, if never before, that I was hopelessly insane; for what American, they very sanely said, "would stay in that dull, dingy island, among those stupid, cowardly bullies, when he might live in that lovely Paris, the most interesting and amusing city in the world, unless he were incomprehensibly mad." And, in truth, I begin to think ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 18, No. 106, August, 1866 • Various

... She was elegant; her lover the reverse, and most unentertaining, and void of confidence in her. His motions too were measured by etiquette and the clock. He visited her every evening at nine; but with such dull punctuality, that he frequently walked about his chamber for ten minutes with his watch in his hand, if the ...
— The Letters of Horace Walpole, Volume 1 • Horace Walpole

... fostered under such circumstances, is no exaggeration:—"The past week has been the calmest which we have had since the revolution. We have had no forced illuminations, no planting of trees of liberty, no physical-force demonstrations, no great display of any kind; in fact, we have been decidedly dull. But in some parts of the city, our sovereign lord and master, the Mob, has been graciously pleased to afford us a little interesting excitement by bullying the landlords into giving receipts for ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.III. - From George III. to Victoria • E. Farr and E. H. Nolan

... of any perplexity on this head, by passing a resolution, one day, which called upon the President to remonstrate with me on my want of proper interest in the affairs of the Institution. I replied to the remonstrance that the affairs of the Institution were so hopelessly dull that it was equally absurd and unjust to expect any human being to take the smallest interest in them. At this there arose an indignant cry of "Resign!" from the whole committee; to which I answered politely, that I should ...
— A Rogue's Life • Wilkie Collins

... and acrimonious Whigs triumphed ostentatiously and with merciless insolence over the perplexed and divided priesthood. The nonjuror they generally affected to regard with contemptuous pity as a dull and perverse, but sincere, bigot, whose absurd practice was in harmony with his absurd theory, and who might plead, in excuse for the infatuation which impelled him to ruin his country, that the same infatuation had impelled him to ruin himself. They reserved their sharpest taunts for ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 3 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... quick to notice the tenderness in her eyes and voice. He could not at first believe in his good fortune, having no understanding of her weariness of more artificial men; but a time comes when the stupidest sees in an eye the glance of his other half; and it came to him, who was quite the reverse of dull. As he gained confidence accidental encounters led to encounters by design; till at length when they were alone together there was no reserve on the matter. They whispered tender words as other lovers do, and were as devoted a pair as ever was seen. But not a ray or symptom of this attachment ...
— A Group of Noble Dames • Thomas Hardy

... is very still now, my Lady," replied the dame, "the servants are all worn out with long attendance and fast asleep. Let my Lady go to her own apartments, which are bright and airy. It will be better for her than this dull chamber." ...
— The Golden Dog - Le Chien d'Or • William Kirby

... little leak will sink a great ship. All are not friends that speak us fair. All are not hunters that blow the horn. All is fish that comes to the net. All is not gold that glitters. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. A pitcher goes often to the well, but is broken at last. A rolling stone gathers no moss. A small spark makes a great fire. A stitch in time saves nine. As you make your bed, so you must lie on it. As you sow, so ...
— My Book of Indoor Games • Clarence Squareman

... Take it away from me, someone! I'm fascinated by the disgusting smell of it!" I withdrew the paper from under his hands. "Thank you," said Father Payne feebly. "That's the horror of it—that the world isn't a dull place or a sensational place or a nasty place—and those papers make me feel it ...
— Father Payne • Arthur Christopher Benson

... as it found her In the dull, feverish town, Saw self still more forgotten, And selfish care kept down By the calm joy of evening That brought him to her side, To warn him with wise counsel, Or ...
— Legends and Lyrics: Second Series • Adelaide Anne Procter

... and, as he himself was naturally silent under any circumstances, his mother would indulge in that charming monologue, so conducive to domestic serenity, termed 'talking at a person,' and was continually insinuating that she supposed he found it very dull to pass his day with her, and that she dared say that somebody could be lively enough ...
— Venetia • Benjamin Disraeli

... fables are much more than they appear— The simplest animals are teachers here. The bare dull moral weariness soon brings; The story serves to give it ...
— A Mother's List of Books for Children • Gertrude Weld Arnold

... to be found scattered throughout the Tahoe country, generally at an elevation between five thousand and eight thousand feet. It ranges in height from ten to twenty-five or even sixty-five feet. Its dull red bark, which shreds or flakes easily, its berries, which begin a green color, shade through to gray, and when ripe are a rich purple, make it readily discernible. It is a characteristic feature of the scenery at timber line in many ...
— The Lake of the Sky • George Wharton James

... almost semiconscious state when 'tut-tut-tut-tut-tut' jumped me off my seat; I realized that I was surrounded by a dazzling whiteness; the machine itself was brilliant. Amidst the 'tut-tut-tut' of our own machine guns shooting down at the searchlights there was a constant dull 'whonk,' 'whonk,' 'whonk,' and the whole machine seemed to be enveloped in puffs of black smoke as the anti-aircraft batteries found ...
— Night Bombing with the Bedouins • Robert Henry Reece

... inscription. The old wood was so brittle that it would have been very easy for me to open the coffin with any sort of a tool. I looked about me and saw a hatchet and a couple of spades lying near the fence. I took one of the latter, put its flat end between the boards—the old coffin fell apart with a dull crackling protest. ...
— The Continental Classics, Volume XVIII., Mystery Tales • Various

... palmed off a counterfeit upon me that differs toto caelo from the original. I felt exactly the same when I read Goethe's "Wilhelm Meister"; I could not believe my eyes, which nevertheless told me that the dull diseased trash I was so toilsomely reading was a work which was commonly held to be one of the great literary masterpieces of the world. It seemed to me that there must be some other Goethe and some other Wilhelm Meister. Indeed I find myself so depressingly out of harmony with the prevailing not ...
— Luck or Cunning? • Samuel Butler

... in the days when England was ruled over by the Saxon Kings, there lived a boy called Guthlac. He was a very intelligent boy, not dull, like some children; he was obedient to the grown-ups, and, as the old book says, "blithe in countenance, pure and clean and innocent in his ways; and in him was the lustre of Divine brightness so shining that all men ...
— Stories of the Saints by Candle-Light • Vera C. Barclay

... sound of the well-remembered voice the girl trembled violently. Her heart beat quickly as she came out from behind the statue. When he beheld her the masker lifted the snake's head off; and Muriel saw that the face revealed, disguised and stained a dull yellow, was that of her lover. At the sight of it she forgot the painful past, forgot her grievance against him, forgot the other woman, the sorrow that he had caused her. As he sprang towards her with ...
— The Jungle Girl • Gordon Casserly

... collar of his shirt was high and stiff after a fashion now, fortunately, exploded. His trousers and his coats were always too large for him. He had what is called in the provinces dignity; that is to say, he was stiffly erect and pompously dull in manner. His friend, Antonin Goulard, accused him of imitating Monsieur Dupin. And in truth, the young barrister was apt to wear shoes and stout socks of ...
— The Deputy of Arcis • Honore de Balzac

... following morning with an aching head, and a heart wherein all emotions seemed dead save a dull despair. She was conscious of only one wish, one desire—a longing to sit again in the organ loft, and pour forth her soul in one last farewell to that instrument which had grown to seem her friend, confidant ...
— An Ambitious Man • Ella Wheeler Wilcox

... Mexican animals, so I thought it would be nice for them to wear the Mexican colors. Come, my angels, and I will show you how to make wreaths and streamers and fringes and flowers for them to wear. Our creatures must not shame us by looking shabby and dull in the procession. They shall be as gay as the ...
— The Mexican Twins • Lucy Fitch Perkins

... country may have diseased souls. Very likely they have. From the specimens we have seen of them we are quite ready to believe that. For them a doctor of souls may be necessary. Your heaven and your spiritual joys may be good enough for you, but they would be very dull for us. We must have seals, and fishes, and birds. Our souls can no more live without these than our bodies. You say we shall not find any of these in your heaven; well then, we do not want to go there; we will leave it to you and to the worthless part of our own countrymen, ...
— Red Rooney - The Last of the Crew • R.M. Ballantyne

... threat, impatience, or acting in her voice, but he recognized the same dull desperation he had once heard in it, and her eyes, which a moment before were quick and mobile, had become fixed and set. He had no idea of trying to penetrate the foolish secret of her name and relations; he had never had the slightest curiosity, but it struck ...
— A Protegee of Jack Hamlin's and Other Stories • Bret Harte

... am tired of this life. I am dull—stupid. I want to go out." Her lovely eyes are flashing, her face is white—her lips trembling. "Take me out," says ...
— A Little Rebel • Mrs. Hungerford

... manhood like a vegetable, or like one of the lower animals that are fed and nourished for the slaughter. He exerts his physical powers because such exertion is necessary for his subsistence. Were it otherwise, we should most frequently find him dozing over the fire with a gaze as dull and stupid as his ox, regardless of every thing but the gratification of his appetites. He has, perhaps, been taught the art of reading, but has never applied it to the acquisition of knowledge. His views are chiefly confined to the objects immediately around him, and to the ...
— Popular Education - For the use of Parents and Teachers, and for Young Persons of Both Sexes • Ira Mayhew

... the man drive his horse forward by the pressure of his legs, which he is not compelled to do in the squad, where the horses follow one another almost automatically. The horses, too, are saved from becoming dull and heavy, as they are only too apt to do under the recruits of the ...
— Cavalry in Future Wars • Frederick von Bernhardi

... an early supper, and, hardly had the dishes been put away, when from the west, where there was a low-flying bank of clouds, there came a mutter of thunder. A little later there was a dull, red illumination amid the rolling ...
— Tom Swift and his Airship • Victor Appleton

... was admitted by his contemporaries to stand second to Cicero. None of his speeches have survived. We possess, however, his invaluable Commentaries on the Gallic and Civil wars. These works, though brief and in most parts rather dull, are highly praised for their simple, concise style and their mastery of the art ...
— EARLY EUROPEAN HISTORY • HUTTON WEBSTER

... plentiful, and had a cheering effect upon Titus, Dull, Kelsey, and Klauder, whose summer work failed to ...
— The Brochure Series of Architectural Illustration, Vol. 1, No. 10, October 1895. - French Farmhouses. • Various

... long, while the King is at the chase; we must seek wherewith to give them some new interest, for the Court is dull without him," she flushed like a shy, young girl, adding as if to cover her show of feeling: "it is ...
— The Royal Pawn of Venice - A Romance of Cyprus • Mrs. Lawrence Turnbull

... thus to rouse myself by finding, as I looked around me with dull eyes, that the hulk I had come aboard of in such a hurry in the twilight certainly had not been wrecked for any great length of time. She was a good-sized schooner, quite modern in her build; and, although she had weathered ...
— In the Sargasso Sea - A Novel • Thomas A. Janvier

... this Morality and dull Stuff; Prithee let us be Merry, and Entertain the Bride and Bridegroom. Ods fish there a parcel of rare Creatures within! But of all Mrs. Clara ...
— The City Bride (1696) - Or The Merry Cuckold • Joseph Harris

... longer belonged to the group. They had found matters so intolerably dull that they started off on their own hook to find partners ...
— The Honorable Miss - A Story of an Old-Fashioned Town • L. T. Meade

... pitch dark and very oppressive under his hood. He heard the rustle and murmur of the people round him, and then the voice of McGinty sounded dull and distant through the ...
— The Valley of Fear • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

... bullets shrieked angrily as they flew past, they struck the snow in front of us, and threw its cold flakes in faces that were white with the fires of consuming hate; they buried themselves with a dull thud in the quivering ...
— Andersonville, complete • John McElroy

... town. Even for mid-morning the place was strangely silent, damply hot, and still. The 'town' consisted of five blocks of main street from which cow paths wound off aimlessly into fields, woods, meadows and hills. There was always a few shuffling, dull-eyed people lolling about in the dusty heat. Now there were ...
— Strange Alliance • Bryce Walton

... will it not, Esther? And Dot can have his lessons with you as usual. I was so afraid that Miss Ruth would want you back soon, and that Carrie would be dull. How good of your Aunt Podgill to make us all so happy! And if it were not for your father—" and here the dear soul had recourse to ...
— Esther - A Book for Girls • Rosa Nouchette Carey

... think lightly of the thing they are about to lose. Granted. And yet the difference is infinite. They are brought to think thus lightly of chastity: but, should you or any one of the gallant phalanx attempt to make Anna St. Ives so think, she would presently cry buzz to the dull blockhead, and give him ...
— Anna St. Ives • Thomas Holcroft

... their duties and unfit for any command. I assure you, Mr. President, it is very difficult to accomplish much with such means. I am in the condition of a carpenter who is required to build a bridge with a dull axe, a broken saw, and rotten timber. It is true that I have some very good green timber, which will answer the purpose as soon as I can get it into shape and season ...
— The Papers And Writings Of Abraham Lincoln, Complete - Constitutional Edition • Abraham Lincoln

... with him; the noise prevented him from sleeping. In a few days he grew so thin that Johnny Town-mouse noticed it, and questioned him. He listened to Timmy Willie's story and inquired about the garden. "It sounds rather a dull place? What do ...
— The Tale of Johnny Town-Mouse • Beatrix Potter

... 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 the impressions on his mind, as if ...
— Master Tales of Mystery, Volume 3 • Collected and Arranged by Francis J. Reynolds

... that he did not know when she would return. Finally he wrote to her and waited patiently for an answer; but there was no word. The old man's hope of seeing her again gradually grew smaller and smaller until at last the old feeling of dull despair, the old gnawing pain of unsatisfied affection came back to him again. "I am doomed," he thought; "doomed to live my life alone!" He would sit for hours and hours and try to think out why she did not see him, why she did not answer ...
— The Music Master - Novelized from the Play • Charles Klein

... Over the dull green a large, irregular lacework of dull yellow had spread itself, and the more we looked the better we liked it. Just why the chemical affinity between plaster and paper should produce that particular effect we could not imagine, but there it was and ...
— Dwellers in Arcady - The Story of an Abandoned Farm • Albert Bigelow Paine

... to protest, knew it was hopeless, and used both hands to get the mug to his lips, mouthing the stinging liquid in dull despair. Only, instead of bringing nausea with it, the stuff settled his stomach, cleared his head, with an after glow with which he managed to relax from the tense state of endurance which filled his hours ...
— Star Hunter • Andre Alice Norton

... matter at all. Then there is the animal which he called the Bear. He is not bare at all—on the contrary he wears the shaggiest coat of all the animals, except possibly the Buffalo, who, by the way, is not buff, but a rather dirty dull brownish black in color. The Panther does not wear pants, and the Monkey far from suggesting the habits of a Monk is a roystering, philanderous old rounder that would disgrace a heathen temple, much less adorn a Monastery. And finally ...
— The Autobiography of Methuselah • John Kendrick Bangs

... the emperor, had vouchsafed him the favour in question. Whereupon quoth Ambrogiuolo, 'Bernabo, I doubt not a whit but that thou thinkest to say sooth; but meseemeth thou hast paid little regard to the nature of things; for that, hadst thou taken heed thereunto, I deem thee not so dull of wit but thou wouldst have noted therein certain matters which had made thee speak more circumspectly on this subject. And that thou mayst not think that we, who have spoken much at large of our wives, believe that we have ...
— The Decameron of Giovanni Boccaccio • Giovanni Boccaccio

... to say, "let us, since we are but children, be pardoned if we act as such; but, at the same time, do not let us grow cold and dull in our work. If any one knocks over our little houses, and spoils our small plans, do not let us now be unhappy or give way altogether on that account. The less so because when the evening comes, and we need a roof, I ...
— The Spirit of St. Francis de Sales • Jean Pierre Camus

... best. Carlyle cared little for Wordsworth's poetry, had a real respect for the antique greatness of his devotion to Poverty and Peasanthood, recognised his strong intellectual powers and strong character, but thought him rather dull, bad-tempered, unproductive, and almost wearisome, and found his divine reflections and unfathomabilities stinted, scanty, uncertain, palish. From these and many other disparagements, one gladly passes to the picture of the poet as he was in the flesh at a breakfast-party ...
— Studies in Literature • John Morley

... Good night. This deede vnshapes me quite, makes me vnpregnant And dull to all proceedings. A deflowred maid, And by an eminent body, that enforc'd The Law against it? But that her tender shame Will not proclaime against her maiden losse, How might she tongue me? yet reason dares her no, For my Authority beares of a credent bulke, That no particular ...
— The First Folio [35 Plays] • William Shakespeare

... right hand lead with thee The mountain-nymph, sweet Liberty; And if I give thee honour due, Mirth, admit me of thy crew, To live with her, and live with thee, In unreproved pleasures free; To hear the lark begin his flight And singing startle the dull night From his watch-tower in the skies, Till the dappled dawn doth rise: Then to come, in spite of sorrow, And at my window bid good-morrow, Through the sweetbriar, or the vine, Or the twisted eglantine: While the cock with lively din, Scatters the rear of darkness thin, And to the stack, ...
— The Golden Treasury - Of the Best Songs and Lyrical Poems in the English Language • Various

... way of it. The church in Elmdale is in a University town. The atmosphere of the place is scholastic. You know I passed four years of student life there. With the exception of the schools, there are not a thousand people in the village, a quiet, sleepy, dull, retired, studious place. I love the memory of it. I could go there as the pastor of the Elmdale church and preach to an audience of college boys eight months in the year and to about eighty refined, scholarly people the rest ...
— The Crucifixion of Philip Strong • Charles M. Sheldon

... Germans were in occupation of the Black Country, if Oxford were being daily shelled, as Rheims is, and if with a favouring breeze London could hear the dull rumble of the bombardment, as Paris can, I wonder if Members would still be encumbering the Order-paper with the sort of trivialities ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 150, March 29, 1916 • Various

... thought to show Dora how willing I was to do what she calls a man's work, and expected to accomplish it at the cost not only of hard toil, which is an easy enough thing to get through with, but also at the price of exile among dull people. I have had plenty of work, but for the last two months there has not been a stupid moment. The girl's bright intelligence and fine womanliness, the old gentleman's kindly and practical ways, have made my visits to them ...
— Sweetapple Cove • George van Schaick

... she went about all day alone, and she longed to go home to see her father and mother and brothers and sisters. So one day, when the White Bear asked what it was that she lacked, she said it was so dull and lonely there, and how she longed to go home to see her father and mother and brothers and sisters, and that was why she was so sad and sorrowful, because ...
— East of the Sun and West of the Moon - Old Tales from the North • Peter Christen Asbjornsen



Words linked to "Dull" :   boring, slow, uninteresting, commercial enterprise, heavy, edgeless, brightness level, muffle, weaken, bright, lustreless, lusterless, unsaturated, inactive, muted, unsharpened, change, muffled, colourless, dull-purple, thudding, desiccate, unreverberant, sluggish, dense, leaden, cloud, dull-white, sharpen, dim, dullness, benumb, alter, drab, matt, dullard, spiritless, deadened, soften, matte, numb, insensitive, bovine, mat, arid, wearisome, tiresome, modify, ho-hum, lively, tedious, softened, unanimated, subdued, unpolished, dulled, humdrum, nonresonant, desiccated, blunted, flat, brightness, dampen, business



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