Dull vs Sallow - What's the difference?

dull | sallow |

As adjectives the difference between dull and sallow

is that dull is lacking the ability to cut easily; not sharp while sallow is (lb) yellowish skin colour .

As a verb dull

is to render dull; to remove or blunt an edge or something that was sharp.

As a noun sallow is

a european willow, salix caprea , that has broad leaves, large catkins and tough wood.



Alternative forms

* dul, dulle


  • Lacking the ability to cut easily; not sharp.
  • :
  • Boring; not exciting or interesting.
  • :
  • :
  • Not shiny; having a matte finish or no particular luster or brightness.
  • :
  • :a dull''' fire or lamp;  a '''dull''' red or yellow;  mirror
  • *(Henry Wadsworth Longfellow) (1807-1882)
  • *:As turning the logs will make a dull fire burn, so changes of study a dull brain.
  • *
  • *:A great bargain also had been the excellent Axminster carpet which covered the floor; as, again, the arm-chair in which Bunting now sat forward, staring into the dull , small fire. In fact, that arm-chair had been an extravagance of Mrs. Bunting. She had wanted her husband to be comfortable after the day's work was done, and she had paid thirty-seven shillings for the chair.
  • Not bright or intelligent; stupid; slow of understanding.
  • *(William Shakespeare) (c.1564–1616)
  • *:She is not bred so dull but she can learn.
  • *(William Makepeace Thackeray) (1811-1863)
  • *:dull at classical learning
  • *{{quote-book, year=1963, author=(Margery Allingham), title=(The China Governess)
  • , chapter=15 citation , passage=She paused and took a defiant breath. ‘If you don't believe me, I can't help it. But I'm not a liar.’ ¶ ‘No,’ said Luke, grinning at her. ‘You're not dull enough! […] What about the kid's clothes? I don't suppose they were anything to write home about, but didn't you keep anything? A bootee or a bit of embroidery or anything at all?’}}
  • Sluggish, listless.
  • *(Bible), (w) xiii. 15
  • *:This people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing.
  • *(Edmund Spenser) (c.1552–1599)
  • *:O, help my weak wit and sharpen my dull tongue.
  • *, chapter=7
  • , title= The Mirror and the Lamp , passage=[…] St.?Bede's at this period of its history was perhaps the poorest and most miserable parish in the East End of London. Close-packed, crushed by the buttressed height of the railway viaduct, rendered airless by huge walls of factories, it at once banished lively interest from a stranger's mind and left only a dull oppression of the spirit.}}
  • Cloudy, overcast.
  • :
  • Insensible; unfeeling.
  • *(Beaumont and Fletcher) (1603-1625)
  • *:Think me not / So dull a devil to forget the loss / Of such a matchless wife.
  • Heavy; lifeless; inert.
  • *(William Shakespeare) (c.1564–1616)
  • *:the dull earth
  • *(Henry Wadsworth Longfellow) (1807-1882)
  • *:As turning the logs will make a dull fire burn, so changes of study a dull brain.
  • (of pain etc) Not intense; felt indistinctly or only slightly.
  • Pressing on the bruise produces a dull pain.


    * See also * See also * (not shiny) lackluster, matte


    * bright * intelligent * sharp


    (en verb)
  • To render dull; to remove or blunt an edge or something that was sharp.
  • Years of misuse have dulled the tools.
  • * Francis Bacon
  • This dulled their swords.
  • To soften, moderate or blunt; to make dull, stupid, or sluggish; to stupefy.
  • He drinks to dull the pain.
  • * Shakespeare
  • Those [drugs] she has / Will stupefy and dull the sense a while.
  • * Trench
  • Use and custom have so dulled our eyes.
  • To lose a sharp edge; to become dull.
  • A razor will dull with use.
  • To render dim or obscure; to sully; to tarnish.
  • * Francis Bacon
  • dulls the mirror



    Etymology 1

    From (etyl) salowe, from (etyl) salu, from (etyl) ).


  • (lb) Yellowish skin colour.
  • # Of a sickly pale colour.
  • #*
  • #*:Then his sallow face brightened, for the hall had been carefully furnished, and was very clean. ¶ There was a neat hat-and-umbrella stand, and the stranger's weary feet fell soft on a good, serviceable dark-red drugget, which matched in colour the flock-paper on the walls.
  • #(lb) Of a tan colour, associated with people from southern Europe or East Asia.
  • #*2007 , David McWilliams, " We must begin the culture debate", 23 December:
  • #*:The girls are mostly Slavic-pretty, long-limbed with high cheekbones, sallow skin and green eyes. They are the closest thing to supermodels that Mulhuddart has ever seen.
  • #*2012 , Aisling, " Am I pink or yellow? How to choose the right foundation tone. And what is the deal with Mac foundations?" beaut.ie (17 January):
  • #*:A yellow undertone is often found on people with sallow skin – e.g. Asian.
  • #*2012 , Billy Keane, " I feel so much for Mickey. Maybe there is peace for him in sport", Irish Independent (13 June):
  • #*:She had such lovely sallow skin, the handsome high cheekbones of the north with the brown conker-colour eyes and the dark silken hair.
  • Dirty; murky.
  • Etymology 2

    From (etyl) salwe, from (etyl) sealh, from (etyl) (compare Welsh helyg, Latin salix), probably originally a borrowing from some other language.


    (wikipedia sallow) (en noun)
  • A European willow, Salix caprea , that has broad leaves, large catkins and tough wood.
  • *1819 , Keats, :
  • *:Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
  • *:Among the river sallows , borne aloft
  • *:Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
  • Willow twigs.
  • * (and other bibliographic details) Fawkes
  • Bend the pliant sallow to a shield.
  • * (and other bibliographic details) Emerson
  • The sallow knows the basketmaker's thumb.
    Derived terms
    * ) * sallow flute