Meaning of dour in English:


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  • Relentlessly severe, stern, or gloomy in manner or appearance.

    ‘a hard, dour, humourless fanatic’
    • ‘He looked like a dour, stern man and had a rather ominous air about him.’
    • ‘In his dour manner, he stated that he was the foreman of the team, and called over two other men whom he introduced.’
    • ‘Dire, dour and disappointing are three which spring instantly to mind.’
    • ‘But after going upstairs for a shower he would grow uncommunicative and dour.’
    • ‘It was still cold and a little gloomy but there was a dour magnificence to it.’
    • ‘You must be, for the whole psychological profession, which is often very dour, very serious.’
    • ‘He appears a dour and silent man notable only for his extreme religious convictions.’
    • ‘Photographs of him make him appear dour, and he lived a monkish kind of life.’
    • ‘However, given the dour nature of the contest, it appeared that summer holidays were closer to the player's minds.’
    • ‘He can come across as intensely serious about the game, even dour in the eyes of the fans, but this is as much a myth as so much in football.’
    • ‘It's all a bit dour, spindly trees where there are trees at all, and more than a few boarded-up stores.’
    • ‘However it made the first-half a dour affair and we saw just five scores in half-an-hour of action.’
    • ‘This was a dour affair that did little to lift the hearts of the dedicated few who were in headquarters to cheer on their sides.’
    • ‘She said research suggested he was a ‘quiet and dour man’ and not even that good-looking.’
    • ‘In a dour first half both teams were only able to score three goals, with Nimbin holding the lead by just four points.’
    • ‘The second half was a dour affair with neither side looking like scoring.’
    • ‘Competitors will be hoping to avoid a repeat of the dour second round when there was an unprecedented number of blanks on a chilly river.’
    • ‘Steelwork was still the original somewhat dour black, and the pine-plank ceilings made the place feel dark.’
    • ‘His smile no longer triggered the normal facial muscles, gradually projecting a slightly dour expression.’
    • ‘I hate to sign off on such a dour note but I'm afraid I'm going to have to.’
    stern, unsmiling, unfriendly, frowning, poker-faced, severe, forbidding, morose, sour, gruff, surly, uncommunicative, grim, gloomy, dismal, sullen, sombre, grave, sober, serious, solemn, austere, mean-looking, stony, unsympathetic, disapproving
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/ˈdʊə/ /ˈdaʊə/


Late Middle English (originally Scots): probably from Scottish Gaelic dúr ‘dull, obstinate, stupid’, perhaps from Latin durus ‘hard’.