dull

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Related to dully: reverently

(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

(as) dull as ditchwater

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 ditchwater. I fell asleep during that movie because it was as dull as ditchwater.
See also: ditchwater, dull

a dull roar

A low level of noise. Kids, when you work together, please keep it down to a dull roar.
See also: dull, roar

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

proverb 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, no, 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

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

dull the edge of (something)

To lessen some aspect of something, often so that it is less severe or effective. Likened to dulling the edge of a blade. Unfortunately, there is little we can do to dull the edge of such an emotional issue.
See also: dull, edge, of

keep it down to a dull roar

To be quiet or stop making a lot of noise; to maintain a low level of noise. Often used as an imperative. 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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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, no, 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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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, no, 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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

(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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

(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
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

dull as dishwater

Flat, boring. This expression began life in the eighteenth century as dull as ditchwater, alluding to the muddy color of the water in roadside gullies. “He’d be sharper than a serpent’s tooth, if he wasn’t as dull as ditchwater,” says Dickens’s Fanny Cleaver (Oliver Twist). This version survived on both sides of the Atlantic well into the twentieth century. Either through careless pronunciation or through similar analogy it occasionally became dishwater—water in which dishes had been washed and which consequently was dingy and grayish.
See also: dishwater, dull

never a dull moment

Something exciting is always occurring. This term, usually stated ironically when something dangerous, stressful, or otherwise unpleasant is happening, became common in the Royal Navy in the 1930s and spread from there across the Atlantic and to civilian situations.
See also: dull, moment, never
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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