Gloomy or sullen in disposition or appearance; severe


US English

UK English

Part of speech



dreary, gloomy, morose, somber, sullen


cheerful, happy, jovial, joyful, sunny

Example sentences

  • The dour expression on his face made him seem unapproachable.
  • She felt discouraged by the dour mood of the office.
  • The dour weather outside made for a gloomy day.


The word “dour” is used to describe someone or something that is gloomy or sullen in disposition or appearance. It is often used to suggest a severe or forbidding demeanor, and may be used to describe a person’s facial expression, mood, or the atmosphere of a place. The word can also be used to describe the quality of light or weather, and may indicate a lack of brightness or cheerfulness. A person or thing that is described as “dour” may be seen as being unfriendly, unwelcoming, or unapproachable, and may not necessarily be viewed as being a positive or desirable thing