One entry found for dismal
Main Entry: dis·mal
Etymology: Middle English dismal
"days marked on a calendar as unlucky," from early French (same meaning), from Latin dies mali,
literally, "evil days"
very gloomy and depressing : DREARY
/ adverbWord History
In the Middle Ages calendars marked two days in every month as dies mali
or "evil days." These were thought to be unlucky. Astronomers of ancient Egypt were thought to have discovered their evil nature. At first, English dismal
was a noun meaning "the set of evil days." By the 15th century dismal
was often used as an adjective. A "dismal day" was one of the 24 days each year that belonged to the dismal, the group of unlucky days. Before long the word was being used as a more general adjective, meaning at first "unlucky" and then "gloomy" or "depressing."
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