Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A dull, pedantic speaker or writer.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A dull, boring or pedantic speaker or writer

Etymologies

After Dr. Jonas Dryasdust, a fictitious character to whom Sir Walter Scott dedicated some of his novels.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From the fictitious character "Jonas Dryasdust" created by Sir Walter Scott (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • In the last pages of the book, his literary executor, commenting on the journal that has been the vehicle for the narrative, reviews events from the perspective of an unperceptive dryasdust and fashions a rational explanation of the less believable aspects of the tale.

    Stromata Blog:

  • This statement alone is enough to indicate that he stands in a minority of one, a lone star cowboy holed up in his big house on the Texas prairie who does not seem to grasp that there's more to the yellow ribbons and white crosses than dryasdust drivel and publicity stunts!

    Cindy Sheehan: The Human Face of A Nation at War

  • Steeped though you frown in this dryasdust clever age,

    Punch, Or The London Charivari, Volume 102, March 26, 1892

  • The writer, who is something of a tsiganologue, emboldened by his success, followed up his alphabet, which appeared January 21st, 1893, and within a year had placed to his credit three-score contributions, most of them in verse -- rather a remarkable achievement for one heretofore considered a mere bookworm and dryasdust.

    The History of "Punch"

  • I take the list from the dryasdust pages of _The Congressional Record_, December

    The Common Sense of Socialism A Series of Letters Addressed to Jonathan Edwards, of Pittsburg

  • “J.R.G.,” as we loved to call him, took up my efforts with the warmest encouragement, tempered, indeed, by constant fears that I should become a hopeless bookworm and dryasdust, yielding day after day to the mere luxury of reading, and putting nothing into shape!

    Writer's Recollections

  • Score after score of decreta, decretales, Sextuses, and Clementines, and chestsful of the dreariest theological disquisition impress upon the weary searcher the fact that academic libraries were usually even more dryasdust than monastic collections, and he begins to understand how prosperous law may be as a calling, and to have an inkling of what is known, in classic phrase, as a good plain Scotch education.

    Old English Libraries; The Making, Collection and Use of Books During the Middle Ages

  • Upon the dryasdust intricacies of grammar; and it is not as though he had already attained; he only desperately follows after:

    Robert Browning

  • The genuineness of this winning little letter could never be doubted except by the most dryasdust of pedants.

    The Books of the New Testament

  • The boy takes some qualities after his father; he has a daring that is disturbing to an old dryasdust lawyer like me.

    The Lady of the Shroud

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