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as in: a dismal expression Define
depressing or gloomy
  • It was a dark and dismal night.
  • a dismal life of slavery

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  • a dismal earnings outlook for the industry
  • Advancing more and more into the shadow of this mournful place, its dark depressing influence stole upon their spirits, and filled them with a dismal gloom.
    Charles Dickens  --  The Old Curiosity Shop
  • My dismal scene I needs must act alone.
    Shakespeare  --  Romeo and Juliet
  • If you think it ain’t dismal and lonesome out in a fog that way by yourself in the night, you try it once—you’ll see.
    Mark Twain  --  The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  • At this dismal time we were evidently all possessed by the idea that we were followed.
    Charles Dickens  --  Great Expectations
  • Everything was dismally still.
    Mark Twain  --  The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
  • This dismal shade must separate me from the world:
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The Minister’s Black Veil
  • shook its chain with such a dismal and appalling noise,
    Charles Dickens  --  A Christmas Carol

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  • The Widow Douglas she took me for her son, and allowed she would sivilize me; but it was rough living in the house all the time, considering how dismal regular and decent the widow was in all her ways; and so when I couldn’t stand it no longer I lit out.
    Mark Twain  --  The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  • It was the first I ever see it growing, and it made the woods look solemn and dismal.
    Mark Twain  --  The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
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as in: a dismal performance Define
of terrible quality
  • It was a dismal play with terrible acting.
  • a dismal performance by the Steelers
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  • They had some kind of a fruit cocktail, rather dismal.
    Nevil Shute  --  On the Beach
  • And through the drifts the snowy clifts Did send a dismal sheen: Nor shapes of men nor beasts we ken— The ice was all between.
    Samuel Taylor Coleridge  --  The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

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  • In mid-1944, in response to the dismal results of Pacific rescue searches, the AAF implemented a vastly enhanced rescue system.
    Laura Hillenbrand  --  Unbroken
  • Isabelle leaned against the doorjamb, her expression dismal.
    Cassandra Clare  --  City of Glass
  • Mother’s stumbling brings me back to my dismal reality.
    Dave Peizer  --  A Man Named Dave
  • They looked southward across the dismal waste.
    Richard Adams  --  Watership Down
  • I hesitate to tell Grandfather because it is such a dismal one.
    Ally Condie  --  Matched
  • "What a dismal place to live," he said.
    George R.R. Martin  --  A Clash of Kings
  • It shall be for us who remain behind in this dry and dismal vale to finish his great work.
    George R.R. Martin  --  A Feast For Crows
  • It was wine he wanted, though—sour, dark, and dismal.
    George R.R. Martin  --  A Dance With Dragons

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  • Far off in this seemingly dismal land were bands of people dressed in furs and animal skins, huddled close to small campfires.
    Velma Wallis  --  Two Old Women
  • He discovered an infallible formula: choose a town so dismal that the only thing left is study and hard work.
    Pat Conroy  --  The Water is Wide
  • Scrawled in Dr. Begbie’s dismal handwriting was the note, Subject 3285 hit her head against the ground and lost consciousness.
    Alexandra Bracken  --  The Darkest Minds
  • Sophie I could barely see in the dismal light.
    William Styron  --  Sophie’s Choice
  • Again the ball left Marcie’s hand, arching through the dismal sky.
    Becca Fitzpatrick  --  Hush, Hush
  • Secretly I doubted it too, but although the plane rattled and groaned dismally, she managed to take off.
    Farley Mowat  --  Never Cry Wolf
  • Little Man shook a threatening fist into the thick air, then looked dismally down at himself.
    Mildred D. Taylor  --  Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
  • The Great Faith Elementary and Secondary School, one of the largest black schools in the county, was a dismal end to an hour’s journey.
    Mildred D. Taylor  --  Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
  • Sometimes I worked in the office too—dismal, dingy place.
    Donna Tartt  --  The Goldfinch
  • One brief sigh sufficed to carry off the entire burden of these dismal reminiscences.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The Scarlet Letter
  • At this dismal intelligence, I twisted the only button on my waistcoat round and round, and looked in great depression at the fire.
    Charles Dickens  --  Great Expectations
  • "One of these days," said Fanny, with dismal emphasis, "you’ll get into trouble."
    Aldous Huxley  --  Brave New World
  • Quietly, sure of his ground, he traversed the dismal fields.
    James Joyce  --  Ulysses
  • I lay there dismally calculating that sixteen entire hours must elapse before I could hope for a resurrection.
    Herman Melville  --  Moby Dick
  • It was a very dubious-looking, nay, a very dark and dismal night, bitingly cold and cheerless.
    Herman Melville  --  Moby Dick
  • "If he" (he meant the enemy) "begins popping at the bridge now," said the old soldier dismally to a comrade, "you’ll forget to scratch yourself."
    Leo Tolstoy  --  War and Peace
  • It is a sort of attenuated variety of Ixion’s punishment, and contributes a dismal chapter to the history of gaols.
    Thomas Hardy  --  Far from the Madding Crowd
  • ’I’ll explain to you, then,’ said the gentleman, after another and a dismal pause, ’why you wouldn’t paper a room with representations of horses.
    Charles Dickens  --  Hard Times
  • I declare, when I got back to Sotherton yesterday, it looked like a prison—quite a dismal old prison.
    Jane Austen  --  Mansfield Park
  • He got it out, rumpled and wilted, and it mightily increased his dismal felicity.
    Mark Twain  --  The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
  • Cautiously he reaches his hand to his behind and looks at me dismally.
    Erich Maria Remarque  --  All Quiet on the Western Front
  • There, there, child, don’t look so dismal.
    Lucy Maud Montgomery  --  Anne Of Green Gables
  • Whenever he stayed home in the evening he went to bed early, and thriftily got ahead in those dismal duties.
    Sinclair Lewis  --  Babbitt
  • A vista of heavy oak rockers with leather seats, asleep in a dismal row.
    Sinclair Lewis  --  Main Street
  • The dismal day was come; the priests prepare Their leaven’d cakes, and fillets for my hair.
    Virgil  --  The Aeneid
  • In between these two low points of his birth and his success lay thirty-one dismal years of loneliness and frustration.
    Joseph Heller  --  Catch-22
  • Those were the only two things to be seen in the dark sky; they made a dismal group.
    C.S. Lewis  --  The Magician’s Nephew
  • They looked, to tell the truth, very grey and dismal as they climbed out of their bunks and there was a good deal of yawning.
    C.S. Lewis  --  The Last Battle
  • That, of course, is a fairly dismal prospect.
    Anne Frank  --  The Diary of a Young Girl
  • His few hours’ sleep had not been nearly enough; he was tired and rather dismal.
    J.R.R. Tolkien  --  The Return of the King
  • Throughout the dismal meal, Gerald’s booming voice battered against her ears until she thought she could endure it no longer.
    Margaret Mitchell  --  Gone with the Wind
  • I need scarcely say that I failed dismally.
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  • Trying to make this place fit for human habitation,’ said Sirius, waving a hand around the dismal kitchen.
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  • A dead mouse fell out and rolled dismally across the floor.
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  • Oh, George is not as dismal as you think.
    Edith Wharton  --  The House of Mirth
  • Lucky for you I am, for if I put on crushed airs and tried to be dismal, as you do, we should be in a nice state.
    Louisa May Alcott  --  Little Women
  • He was eager to let strangers know in a dismal mumble that he was ’an old stager out here.’
    Joseph Conrad  --  Lord Jim
  • At once, as far as Angels ken, he views The dismal situation waste and wild.
    John Milton  --  Paradise Lost
  • It was a dismal finish to my morning, and the day that stretched ahead of me was long.
    Daphne du Maurier  --  Rebecca
  • He failed dismally where the woman was slightly experienced and possessed innate refinement.
    Theodore Dreiser  --  Sister Carrie
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