First meaning is gory and bloody and horrible! Then on the word moved to “sad”, then melancholy and dull. “Drear” is a poetic shortening.
- 02.028 Not far ahead were dreary hills,
- 03.001 and drear it looked,
- 09.012 This is the dreariest
- 10.003 Dreary as had been his imprisonment
- 14.002 and drear even
- 19.004 So sad and so dreary?
“dreary, adj.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, June 2015. Web. 27 July 2015.