Definition of lugubrious
lugubrious was our Word of the Day on 09/09/2012. Hear the podcast!
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
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
First Known Use: 1585
LUGUBRIOUS Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of lugubrious for English Language Learners
: full of sadness or sorrow : very sad especially in an exaggerated or insincere way
Seen and Heard
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