lugubrious

play
adjective lu·gu·bri·ous \lu̇-ˈgü-brē-əs also -ˈgyü-\

Definition of lugubrious

  1. 1 :  mournful; especially :  exaggeratedly or affectedly (see affected 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. 2 :  dismal a lugubrious landscape lugubrious cello music

lugubriously

adverb

lugubriousness

noun

lugubrious was our Word of the Day on 09/09/2012. Hear the podcast!

Examples of lugubrious in a Sentence

  1. a comic actor known for his lugubrious manner

  2. the diner's dim lighting makes eating there a particularly lugubrious experience

Recent Examples of lugubrious from the Web

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.

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.

Origin and Etymology of lugubrious

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


LUGUBRIOUS Defined for English Language Learners

lugubrious

play
adjective

Definition of lugubrious for English Language Learners

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



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up lugubrious? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to relieve or lessen

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time-traveler-quiz-which-word-came-first
  • Which came first?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

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!