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bleak 1  (blk)
adj. bleak·er, bleak·est
a. Gloomy and somber: Life in the Aran Islands has always been bleak and difficult (John Millington Synge).
b. Providing no encouragement; depressing: a bleak prospect.
2. Cold and cutting; raw: bleak winds of the North Atlantic.
3. Exposed to the elements; unsheltered and barren: the bleak, treeless regions of the high Andes.

[Middle English bleik, pale, from Old Norse bleikr, white; see bhel-1 in Indo-European roots.]

bleakly adv.
bleakness n.

bleak 2  (blk)
n. pl. bleak or bleaks
A small European freshwater fish of the genus Alburnus that is related to the carp and has silvery scales used in the manufacture of artificial pearls.

[Middle English bleke, probably alteration (influenced by bleke, pale) of *blay, from Old English blge.]

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