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dismal (obs. uses): ill-boding, sinister 3H6 II. vi. 58 “Now death shall stop his” (i.e. the screech-owl's) “ threatening sound,” Ven. 889; disastrous, calamitous Rom. IV. iii. 19 “My scene I needs must act alone.” ∥ The orig. application of the word is to the unlucky days (“dies mali”) of the mediaeval calendar; the derived senses are none of them pre-Eliz.
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    • William Shakespeare, Venus and Adonis, ven
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