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Dismal Definition and Meaning

By Tayyaba Rehman & Fiza Rafique — Published on April 13, 2024
Dismal means causing gloom or depression; dreary. e.g., The weather forecast predicts dismal conditions for the weekend.

Dismal Definitions

Causing a mood of gloom or depression.
The dismal news of the accident left everyone in shock.
Dull or dreary; lacking brightness.
The room's dismal lighting made it feel unwelcoming.
Bleak and barren; offering little or no hope.
The future looked dismal to him after losing his job.
Very bad or poor in quality.
The team's performance was dismal, resulting in a heavy loss.
Sorrowful; causing sorrow or melancholy.
The music had a dismal tone that matched the movie's theme.
Depressingly dark and gloomy.
The old mansion looked dismal under the overcast sky.
Disheartening; likely to discourage or depress.
The dismal odds of success made them hesitate to try.
Lacking in cheer; joyless.
The party was dismal, with hardly anyone speaking or smiling.
Reflecting or characterized by misery or despair.
They lived in dismal conditions, with little hope for improvement.
Causing gloom or depression; dreary
Dismal weather.
Took a dismal view of the economy.
Characterized by ineptitude, dullness, or a lack of merit
A dismal book.
A dismal performance on the cello.
(Obsolete) Dreadful; disastrous.
Chiefly South Atlantic US See pocosin.
Disastrous, calamitous
Disappointingly inadequate.
He received a dismal compensation.
Causing despair; gloomy and bleak.
The storm made for a dismal weekend
Depressing, dreary, cheerless.
She was lost in dismal thoughts of despair
Fatal; ill-omened; unlucky.
An ugly fiend more foul than dismal day.
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.
Depressing in character or appearance;
Drove through dingy streets
The dismal prison twilight
Drab old buildings
A dreary mining town
Gloomy tenements
Sorry routine that follows on the heels of death
Causing dejection;
A blue day
The dark days of the war
A week of rainy depressing weather
A disconsolate winter landscape
The first dismal dispiriting days of November
A dark gloomy day
Grim rainy weather
Showing or causing unhappiness or sad feelings.
Her face had a dismal expression after the rejection.

Dismal Snonyms


Sullenly melancholy; gloomily or sulkily ill-humored.
He had a morose outlook on life after the incident.


Causing sadness or gloom.
The news about the economic downturn was depressing.


Dark or dull in color or tone; gloomy.
The room was decorated in somber colors that matched his mood.


A feeling of pensive sadness, typically with no obvious cause.
There was a touch of melancholy in her voice.


Offering little hope; cold and dreary.
The landscape was bleak in the winter months.


Dark or poorly lit, especially so as to appear depressing or frightening.
The gloomy forest scared the children.


Barren or laid waste; devastated.
The war left the city in a desolate state.


Bad-tempered and sulky; gloomy.
His sullen mood was evident to everyone at the dinner table.


Dull and making one feel sad.
The rainy day gave the town a dreary look.


Wretchedly unhappy or uncomfortable.
The miserable weather made it impossible to go hiking.

Dismal Example Sentences

She tried to cheer up her friend, who was feeling dismal about the move.
The dismal light in the attic made it hard to see anything.
They walked through the dismal streets of the abandoned town.
His dismal attempt at cooking dinner made everyone decide to order pizza instead.
The garden looked dismal without any flowers in bloom.
The dismal state of the building suggested it had been vacant for years.
Reading a book was a way for her to escape the dismal reality of her situation.
They received a dismal score on their project, much to their disappointment.
The team's dismal record this season has disappointed the fans.
The dismal economic news has caused a lot of anxiety.
The room was painted in dismal shades of gray and black.
She felt dismal every time she thought about the missed opportunities.
The dismal weather seemed to mirror his mood perfectly.
He found the movie's ending to be surprisingly dismal.
The view from the window was dismal, with clouds covering the sky.

Common Curiosities

How do we divide dismal into syllables?

Dismal is divided into syllables as dis-mal.

How is dismal used in a sentence?

Dismal is used to describe something that is depressing, gloomy, or of poor quality.

What is a stressed syllable in dismal?

The stressed syllable in dismal is the first syllable: dis-.

What is the root word of dismal?

The root of dismal comes from the Middle English "dismale," which referred to unlucky days in the medieval calendar.

What is the verb form of dismal?

Dismal does not have a verb form; it is an adjective.

Why is it called dismal?

Dismal is derived from the Middle English word "dismale," which referred to an unlucky day, eventually coming to mean causing gloom or depression.

How many syllables are in dismal?

There are 2 syllables in dismal.

What part of speech is dismal?

Dismal is an adjective.

What is another term for dismal?

Another term for dismal is gloomy.

What is the plural form of dismal?

Dismal does not have a plural form; it remains the same regardless of the noun it modifies.

What is the opposite of dismal?

The opposite of dismal is cheerful or bright.

What is the singular form of dismal?

Dismal is already in singular form and does not change.

Is dismal an adverb?

No, dismal is not an adverb.

Is the word dismal Gerund?

No, dismal is not a gerund; it is an adjective.

What is the pronunciation of dismal?

Dismal is pronounced as /ˈdɪz.məl/.

Is dismal a noun or adjective?

Dismal is an adjective.

Is dismal a countable noun?

Dismal is not a noun; it's an adjective and therefore not countable.

Is the dismal term a metaphor?

Dismal can be used metaphorically to describe a gloomy or depressing situation.

Is the word “dismal” a Direct object or an Indirect object?

Dismal cannot be a direct or indirect object because it is an adjective, not a noun.

Is dismal a negative or positive word?

Dismal is a negative word.

Which vowel is used before dismal?

The vowel used before dismal depends on the article or determiner; for example, "a dismal day" or "the dismal weather."

Is dismal a vowel or consonant?

The word dismal starts with a consonant.

Is the word dismal imperative?

No, dismal is not imperative; it is an adjective.

Which preposition is used with dismal?

Prepositions like "in" or "with" can be used with dismal, e.g., "in dismal weather" or "with a dismal outlook."

Which conjunction is used with dismal?

Conjunctions like "and" or "but" can be used, e.g., "dismal and dreary" or "dreary but not quite dismal."

Is dismal an abstract noun?

No, dismal is not a noun; it is an adjective.

Is dismal a collective noun?

No, dismal is not a collective noun.

Which determiner is used with dismal?

Determiners like "a," "the," or "this" can be used with dismal, depending on the context.

Which article is used with dismal?

The definite article "the" or the indefinite article "a" can be used with dismal, depending on the context.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.
Co-written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.

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