American Dictionary of the English Language

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BLEAK, adjective

1. Pale. [But not often used in this sense, in America, as far as my observations extend.]

2. Open; vacant; exposed to a free current of air; as a bleak hill or shore. This is the true sense of the word; hence cold and cheerless. A bleak wind is not so named merely from its coldness, but from its blowing without interruption, on a wide waste; at least this is the sense in America. So in Addison. 'Her desolation presents us with nothing but bleak and barren prospects.'

BLEAK, noun A small river fish, five or six inches long, so named from its whiteness. It belongs to the genus Cyprinus, and is known to the Londoners by the name of white bait. It is called also by contraction blay.