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Definition of "dismal" []

  • Causing gloom or depression; dreary: dismal weather; took a dismal view of the economy. (adjective)
  • Characterized by ineptitude, dullness, or a lack of merit: a dismal book; a dismal performance on the cello. (adjective)
  • Obsolete Dreadful; disastrous. (adjective)
  • Chiefly South Atlantic U.S. See pocosin. See Regional Note at pocosin. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "dismal" in a sentence
  • "Isabelle leaned against the doorjamb, her expression dismal."
  • "We covered my prediction for Saturday (Obama!) the governor's endorsement, the then-forthcoming KeyArena rally, and the state of the Republican Party in Washington (which I described as dismal)."
  • "Fleming, who was a member of the ANC's Pretoria Central branch, said he had left the ANC because of what he termed a dismal lack of democracy in party structures."