What Is Dismal? Definition And Usage Of This Term

What Is Dismal? Definition And Usage Of This Term

WHAT IS DISMAL – In this topic, we will first know the definition of this term and how is this term used in sentences.



The Oxford Dictionary described this term as the following:

  • depressing; dreary.
  • (of a person or a mood) gloomy.
  • pitifully or disgracefully bad.

On the other hand, the Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines this term as the following:

  • showing or causing gloom or depression
  • lacking merit
  • particularly bad
  • disastrous
  • dreadful


Here are some of the following synonyms:

  • dingy
  • dim
  • dark
  • gloomy
  • somber
  • glum
  • mournful
  • melancholy
  • morose
  • bad
  • poor
  • dreadful
  • awful
  • terrible
  • pitiful


It is a late Middle English term which is derived from its earlier noun version, which refers to two days in each month which in medieval times were believed to be unlucky. The noun is from Anglo-Norman French dis mal, which is from medieval Latin dies mali or ‘evil days’.


Here are some of the examples:

  • The proposed rising was a dismal failure, but the Habeas Corpus Act was suspended and Thistlewood and Watson were seized, although upon being tried they were acquitted.
  • The revolution of July in the same year was a terrible blow to him, and filled him with the most dismal anticipations of the future of Europe.
  • The story of the next few years is but a dismal record of aggression and of reprisals leading to fresh aggression.
  • Two streams, the Katli and Ghaggar, attempt to flow through this dismal region, but are lost in its sands.

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