Definition: Refers to something that is dreary. A drudge. Something that is endured rather than enjoyed.

Pronunciation: Say it like you see it. Dree.

Origin: From Old English dreogen, meaning to work/suffer/endure. Survived as Dree in the dialects of the border area between Scotland and England. Could also be Old Norse drygjado, meaning to ‘carry out’. Possible Gothic root – druigan (a service soldier).

Why This Word?

There are some words that operate at a level beyond meaning. They take on the feeling of what is being conveyed. Dree is one such word. An indulgent word, it is a perfect vehicle for expressing something that is suffered. Dree goes beyond common drudge, however. Dree feels like a bath made of hardship filled with drudge water and sorrow.

How to use the word dree in a sentence?

Some useful examples of how to use Dree in a sentence:


“How was work?”

“Very dree at the moment.”


“Are you enjoying your work as a septic tank cleaner?”

“No – working as a Septic Tank cleaner is very dree work indeed.”


“I heard you had a multiple birth – how many babies did you have?”

Dree – oopsI mean ‘three’.”


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Written by Sean Carabini

Seán Carabini is a Dublin-based author. To date, Seán has written the humorous travel memoirs 'Sticking Out in Minnesota' and 'American Road', as well as 'American Road: The poems' - a book of travel poetry related to the memoir. Seán has also developed a podcast based on the book - subscribe to the American Road podcast today! Seán is a committee member of the Irish Writers' Union.

Chrissy Skelton is Seán Carabini's editor. A graduate of the University of Minnesota's Anthropology programme, Chrissy emerged armed with an arsenal of little-known words and cumbersome jargon - all of which will now be off-loaded onto 'unusedwords' readers!


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