dolorous

adjective
do·​lor·​ous | \ˈdō-lə-rəs also ˈdä- \

Definition of dolorous 

: causing, marked by, or expressing misery or grief

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Other Words from dolorous

dolorously adverb
dolorousness noun

The Painful History of Dolorous

"No medicine may prevail … till the same dolorous tooth be … plucked up by the roots." When dolorous first appeared around 1400, it was linked to physical pain—and appropriately so, since the word is a descendant of the Latin word dolor, meaning "pain" as well as "grief." (Today, dolor is also an English word meaning "sorrow.") When the British surgeon John Banister wrote the above quotation in 1578, dolorous could mean either "causing pain" or "distressful, sorrowful." "The death of the earl [was] dolorous to all Englishmen," the English historian Edward Hall had written a few decades earlier. The "causing pain" sense of dolorous coexisted with the "sorrowful" sense for centuries, but nowadays its use is rare.

Examples of dolorous in a Sentence

dolorous ballads of death and regret

Recent Examples on the Web

Filled with desolate vistas, a feathered and furred menagerie, and multiple aperture-like windows, these fragments quickly establish a moody tone and over time become dolorous refrains. Manohla Dargis, New York Times, "Review: The Persistence of Abbas Kiarostami’s Vision in ‘24 Frames’," 1 Feb. 2018 His Grammy supremacy, to the exclusion of Sheeran, shows that the dolorous guitarist no longer holds intrinsic sway over the smiling showman for the awards' purposes. Andrew Unterberger, Billboard, "Hip-Hop and R&B Finally Complete Grammys Takeover in 2018 Nominations," 28 Nov. 2017 His Grammy supremacy, to the exclusion of Sheeran, shows that the dolorous guitarist no longer holds intrinsic sway over the smiling showman for the awards' purposes. Andrew Unterberger, The Hollywood Reporter, "Hip-Hop and R&B Finally Complete Grammys Takeover in 2018 Nominations," 28 Nov. 2017 The mosaics portray Jesus and his human forebears, including Joseph and a dolorous Mother Mary. Nasser Nasser, National Geographic, "In Bethlehem's Ancient Church, a Long Unseen Presence Appears," 27 May 2016 Did Affleck use up his store of dolorous winces in Manchester by the Sea? Christian Lorentzen, New Republic, "The spirit of wounded masculinity haunts America in 'A Ghost Story.'," 5 July 2017

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

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First Known Use of dolorous

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near dolorous

doloriferous

dolorifuge

doloroso

dolorous

dolos

dolose

dolour

Statistics for dolorous

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Time Traveler for dolorous

The first known use of dolorous was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for dolorous

dolorous

adjective
do·​lor·​ous | \ˈdō-lə-rəs, ˈdäl-ə- \

Medical Definition of dolorous 

1 : causing, characterized by, or affected with physical pain dolorous sensations

2 : causing, marked by, or expressive of misery or grief

Other Words from dolorous

dolorously adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on dolorous

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dolorous

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