doleful

adjective
dole·​ful | \ ˈdōl-fəl How to pronounce doleful (audio) \

Definition of doleful

1 : full of grief : cheerless a doleful face
2 : expressing grief : sad a doleful melody
3 : causing grief or affliction a doleful loss

Other Words from doleful

dolefully \ ˈdōl-​fə-​lē How to pronounce doleful (audio) \ adverb
dolefulness noun

Examples of doleful in a Sentence

The girl had a doleful look on her face. You sounded so doleful about your future that night.
Recent Examples on the Web With his raspy delivery, grizzled hair and doleful face, Hall excelled as government and military officials with urgent agendas as well as Hollywood and business executives with ulterior motives. Adam Bernstein, BostonGlobe.com, 13 June 2022 With his raspy delivery, grizzled hair and doleful face, Mr. Hall excelled as government and military officials with urgent agendas as well as Hollywood and business executives with ulterior motives. Adam Bernstein, Washington Post, 13 June 2022 In a career spanning half a century, Hall was a ubiquitous hangdog face whose doleful, weary appearance could shroud a booming intensity and humble sensitivity. Jake Coyle, Chicago Tribune, 13 June 2022 Quixotic is a mild term for the compulsions that grip these people, and their adventures are more harrowing than anything Cervantes’s knight of the doleful countenance ever experienced. A. O. Scott, The Atlantic, 17 May 2022 Her passionate and doleful appeal was one of many made in the last few days by Ukrainian athletes after their races had ended, a far cry from their normal upbeat and buoyant mood after victory. New York Times, 7 Mar. 2022 Freezing winter in a place designed for frolicsome summer can be a doleful time. Jessica Kiang, Variety, 11 Feb. 2022 McKay cast his doleful satire of climate change denial and MAGA belligerence with seemingly half the available members of the Screen Actors Guild. Michael Phillips, chicagotribune.com, 8 Feb. 2022 No one looks like him, with his thick pompadour, sensuous, downturned lips and doleful eyes. David Marchesephoto Illustration By Bráulio Amado, New York Times, 4 Feb. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'doleful.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of doleful

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for doleful

see dole entry 1

Learn More About doleful

Time Traveler for doleful

Time Traveler

The first known use of doleful was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near doleful

dole cupboard

doleful

dolefuls

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for doleful

Last Updated

20 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Doleful.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/doleful. Accessed 7 Jul. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for doleful

doleful

adjective
dole·​ful | \ ˈdōl-fəl How to pronounce doleful (audio) \

Kids Definition of doleful

: very sad a doleful day

Other Words from doleful

dolefully \ -​fə-​lē \ adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on doleful

Nglish: Translation of doleful for Spanish Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!