Bleak meaning

blēk
The definition of bleak is something that is gloomy, somber or exposed to wind and cold.

An example of bleak is a dark, stormy and dreary day.

adjective
18
3
Cold and cutting; harsh.
adjective
3
3
Not cheerful; gloomy; dreary.
adjective
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3
Exposed to the elements; unsheltered and barren.

The bleak, treeless regions of the high Andes.

adjective
2
4
Exposed to wind and cold; unsheltered; treeless; bare.
adjective
1
0
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Not promising or hopeful.

A bleak future.

adjective
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Pale; wan.
adjective
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Any of a genus (Alburnus) of small, slender European carp with silvery scales that are used in making artificial pearls.
noun
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Desolate and exposed; swept by cold winds.
adjective
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Unhappy; cheerless; miserable; emotionally desolate.

Downtown Albany felt bleak that February after the divorce.

A bleak future is in store for you.

adjective
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A small European river fish (Alburnus alburnus), of the family Cyprinidae.
noun
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Without color; pale; pallid.
adjective
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1
Cold and cutting; raw.

Bleak winds of the North Atlantic.

adjective
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2
Any of various small European freshwater fishes of the genus Alburnus, having silvery scales.
noun
0
2

Origin of bleak

  • Middle English bleke probably alteration (influenced by bleke pale) of blay from Old English blǣge

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • Middle English bleik pale from Old Norse bleikr white bhel-1 in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Middle English bleke (also bleche > English bleach (“pale, bleak”)), and bleike (due to Old Norse), and earlier Middle English blak, blac (“pale, wan”), from Old English blǣc, blǣċ, blāc (“bleak, pale, pallid, wan, livid; bright, shining, glittering, flashing”) and Old Norse bleikr (“pale, whitish”), from Proto-Germanic *blaikaz (“pale, shining”), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰlē-, *bʰel- (“to shine”). Cognate with Dutch bleek (“pale, wan, pallid”), Low German blek (“pale”), German bleich (“pale, wan, sallow”), Danish bleg (“pale”), Swedish blek (“pale, pallid”), Faroese bleikur (“pale”), Icelandic bleikur (“pale, pink”).

    From Wiktionary

  • Probably from Old Norse bleikja.

    From Wiktionary