dull

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Related to dulled: hearken

all work and no play (makes Jack a dull boy)

Working too much can be bad for one's health or can make one boring. Come out to the pub with us tonight! All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play isn't ideal, but I absolutely must finish this report tonight.
See also: all, and, dull, jack, play, work

be as dull as dishwater

To be very boring or unexciting. This phrase is often used to describe a person. My date with Dave was not great—he is as dull as dishwater. I fell asleep during that movie because it was as dull as dishwater.
See also: dishwater, dull

(as) dull as dishwater

Very boring or unexciting. This phrase is often used to describe a person. My date with Dave was not great—he is as dull as dishwater. I fell asleep during that movie because it was as dull as dishwater.
See also: dishwater, dull

deadly dull

Very boring. It seems that Ernie can make any topic deadly dull—he's just doesn't have any personality.
See also: deadly, dull

keep it down to a dull roar

To be quiet or stop making a lot of noise. Often used as a command. Kids, when you work together, please keep it down to a dull roar.
See also: down, dull, keep, roar

never a dull moment

There is always something happening or changing; things are always busy or chaotic. A: "Wow, it must get pretty hectic having all these young kids running around." B: "Yep, never a dull moment!" I love that there's never a dull moment in this city. I don't think I'd be able to tolerate the silence of the countryside.
See also: dull, moment, never

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

Prov. It is not healthy for someone to work all the time and never play. (Often used to exhort someone to stop working, or to justify why you have stopped working. You can substitute the name of the person you are addressing for Jack.) Don't come to the office this weekend. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. I'd like to take a week's vacation next month. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
See also: all, and, boy, dull, jack, make, play, work

deadly dull

very dull. The lecture was deadly dull, and I went to sleep. Her story was really deadly dull. I am sorry I was awake for part of it.
See also: deadly, dull

*dull as dishwater

 and *dull as ditch water
very uninteresting. (*Also: as ~.) I'm not surprised that he can't find a partner. He's as dull as dishwater. Mr. Black's speech was as dull as dishwater.
See also: dishwater, dull

never a dull moment

[it's] always exciting around here. (Describes an exciting or hectic situation.) Every time I visit Jean, she has dozens of things planned for us to do: parties and theaters to attend, restaurants to try, scenic places to see. Never a dull moment. Alan: How was work today? Jane: First of all, my boss called me in to yell at me. Then I had to fire one of my subordinates. And then my desk chair broke when I sat down on it. Never a dull moment.
See also: dull, moment, never

all work and no play (makes Jack a dull boy)

Hard work without time for recreation is not good for one's health, as in If Harry keeps up that grueling schedule, he's headed for a breakdown-all work and no play isn't healthy . A proverb included in James Howell's collection of 1659, this phrase remains so familiar that it is often shortened, as in the example.
See also: all, and, dull, jack, play, work

dull as dishwater

Boring, tedious, as in That lecture was dull as dishwater. The original simile, dull as ditchwater, dating from the 1700s, alluded to the muddy water in roadside ditches. In the first half of the 1900s, perhaps through mispronunciation, it became dishwater, that is, the dingy, grayish water in which dirty dishes had soaked.
See also: dishwater, dull

never a dull moment

Something is always changing or happening, as in First Lauren spits up, then she coughs, then she sneezes-never a dull moment with this baby! This expression was first recorded in 1889.
See also: dull, moment, never

dull as ditchwater

or

dull as dishwater

If someone or something is as dull as ditchwater or as dull as dishwater, they are very boring. He's a dull writer and that's a fact. Dull as ditchwater. `Most of the politicians in Ontario are dull as dishwater,' he said. Note: The expression `dull as ditchwater' is over 200 years old, whereas `dull as dishwater' is a more recent variant. The reference is to the dull dirty colour of the water in ditches or in washing-up bowls.
See also: ditchwater, dull

dull as dishwater (or ditchwater)

extremely dull.
See also: dishwater, dull

dull the edge of

make less sensitive, interesting, or effective.
The image here is of making a knife's edge blunt.
See also: dull, edge, of

never a dull moment

used to express the idea of constant (and sometimes perhaps excessive) variety and excitement. informal
See also: dull, moment, never

(as) dull as ˈditchwater

(British English) (American English (as) dull as ˈdishwater) very boring: Best-seller or not, the book sounds as dull as ditchwater to me.
See also: ditchwater, dull

(as) dull as dishwater

mod. very dull. Life can be as dull as dishwater.
See also: dishwater, dull

dull as dishwater

verb
See also: dishwater, dull

deadly (dull)

mod. very dull. The lecture was deadly dull, and I went to sleep.
See also: deadly, dull

dull roar

n. a relatively quiet degree of noisiness. Try to keep it at a dull roar if you can.
See also: dull, roar
References in classic literature ?
He looked at her face and wondered how it would look in twenty years' time, when the eyes had dulled, and the forehead wore those little persistent wrinkles which seem to show that the middle-aged are facing something hard which the young do not see?
He had a due value for the Vincys' house, but the wariest men are apt to be dulled by routine, and on worried mornings will sometimes go through their business with the zest of the daily bell-ringer.
It was plain that Dian was ambitious, and that her ambition had not dulled her reasoning faculties.
No particle had his shallow probing of English society dulled his marvelous sense faculties.
We can but trust that no cosmic disturbance has dulled her excellent abilities.
He lived through it long enough to say that the agony, after the first stroke of the club, dulled his capacity for feeling pain when the next blows fell.
My ears may be somewhat dulled by the water, and perchance what has been said has escaped me, but I have not yet heard this gentleman crave pardon for the insults which he put upon me in the hall.
1-4) Goddess-nurse of the young (5), give ear to my prayer, and grant that this woman may reject the love-embraces of youth and dote on grey-haired old men whose powers are dulled, but whose hearts still desire.