lugubrious

adjective
lu·​gu·​bri·​ous | \ lu̇-ˈgü-brē-əs also -ˈgyü- How to pronounce lugubrious (audio) \

Definition of lugubrious

1 : mournful especially : exaggeratedly or affectedly (see affected sense 1) mournful dark, dramatic and lugubrious brooding — V. S. Pritchett the tour de force of lugubrious cliche is ten times longer than this review — Martin Amis
2 : dismal a lugubrious landscape lugubrious cello music

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Other Words from lugubrious

lugubriously adverb
lugubriousness noun

Lugubrious Has Latin Roots

It is a consolation to the wretched to have companions in misery, wrote Publilius Syrus in the first century BC. Perhaps this explains why "lugubrious" is so woeful-it's all alone. Sure, we can dress up "lugubrious" with suffixes to form "lugubriously" or "lugubriousness," but the word remains essentially an only child-the sole surviving English offspring of its Latin ancestors. This wasn't always the case, though. "Lugubrious" once had a linguistic living relative in "luctual," an adjective meaning "sad" or "sorrowful." Like "lugubrious," "luctual" traced ultimately to the Latin verb lugēre, meaning "to mourn." "Luctual," however, faded into obsolescence long ago, leaving "lugubrious" to carry on the family's mournful mission all alone.

Examples of lugubrious in a Sentence

a comic actor known for his lugubrious manner the diner's dim lighting makes eating there a particularly lugubrious experience
Recent Examples on the Web What should be soaring is instead lugubrious; what should be a ripping good yarn is instead dutiful and a little bit dull. Ann Hornaday, Houston Chronicle, "Splendid visuals can't save dull Netflix drama 'The King'," 30 Oct. 2019 The road is completely blocked by angry protestors, and their lugubrious chants and slogans become a nerve-wracking soundtrack to everything that follows. Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Weeping Woman' ('La Llorona'): Film Review," 30 Sep. 2019 Precipitated into a supernatural daze by a mystifying woman in a lugubrious bar, psychotherapist Dr. Rossini (Jan Bluthardt) learns about a ritual invocation from decades ago on a distant continent that’s haunting his present. Carlos Aguilar, Los Angeles Times, "Review: The demonic possession Euro-horror of ‘Luz’ will rattle your soul," 18 July 2019 The opaque and lugubrious language of the law is an unwitting accomplice in all this, the serpentine connections between precedents and statutes and sub-definitions shoving everything into abstractions. Rafia Zakaria, The New Republic, "On Sending Women Home to Die," 18 June 2018 An unforgiving, industrial glare does little to stave off the lugubrious solitude of night. Lily Janiak, San Francisco Chronicle, "In the memory palace of Robert Lepage’s ‘887,’ there are many mansions," 5 May 2018 After a number of women are mangled and beheaded in similarly bizarre circumstances, lugubrious police officer Cruz (Victor Lopez) begins gathering clues. Stephen Dalton, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Murder Me, Monster' ('Muere, monstro, muere'): Film Review | Cannes 2018," 13 May 2018 The choreographic action tells of dancers having fun while leaving the audience waiting for some theatrical dimension that fails to surface; Brandon Stirling Baker’s lighting occasionally bathes the stage in lugubrious magenta to murky effect. Robert Greskovic, WSJ, "A Celebration of Jerome Robbins," 8 May 2018 On the surface, the fact Leonard’s quad still isn’t copacetic would seem enough to make Popovich lugubrious. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, "For a night, Spurs shrug off Leonard’s tendinopathy," 17 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lugubrious.' 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 lugubrious

1585, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for lugubrious

Latin lugubris, from lugēre to mourn; akin to Greek lygros mournful

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Time Traveler for lugubrious

Time Traveler

The first known use of lugubrious was in 1585

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Cite this Entry

“Lugubrious.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lugubrious. Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for lugubrious

lugubrious

adjective
How to pronounce lugubrious (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of lugubrious

formal : full of sadness or sorrow : very sad especially in an exaggerated or insincere way

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