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

Definition of lugubrious

1 : mournful especially : exaggeratedly or affectedly (see affected entry 2 sense 1a) 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

Other Words from lugubrious

lugubriously adverb
lugubriousness noun

Lugubrious Has Latin Roots

Lugubrious is the sole surviving English offspring of Latin lugēre, meaning "to mourn." Its closest kin, luctual, an adjective meaning "sad" or "sorrowful," was put to rest centuries ago.

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 Practically every scene works toward the same goal, to the same lugubrious, narcoticized rhythm. Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune, 21 Sep. 2022 The film is in part lugubrious in its longing for obsolescent objects, in its yearning for years before iPhones (with which the crisis of the film would otherwise be more easily solved). Dini Adanurani, Variety, 9 Aug. 2022 Part of the problem: the generally lugubrious choice of musical material. New York Times, 13 June 2022 Wall Street’s lugubrious mood dragged into Friday, with the major U.S. indexes on track to extend their losses a day after registering their steepest slump since the beginning of the pandemic. Washington Post, 6 May 2022 The boom-and-bust border economy birthed a lugubrious landscape where homes suffer water shortages and bodies of missing persons turn up. New York Times, 23 Mar. 2022 Black Milk’s lugubrious boom-bap also scores the group’s commentary on our pandemic present and pro-marijuana rhetoric informed by their respective forays into the cannabis industry. Max Bell, SPIN, 17 Mar. 2022 Another facet of the exhibit featured a section on its rather lugubrious-looking, brooding Romanesque Revival red-brick headquarters at Calvert and Redwood streets. Frederick N. Rasmussen,, 16 Mar. 2022 So do many of the images, the lugubrious pace and the direction throughout. WSJ, 9 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

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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The first known use of lugubrious was in 1585

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Last Updated

1 Oct 2022

Cite this Entry

“Lugubrious.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Oct. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on lugubrious

Nglish: Translation of lugubrious for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lugubrious for Arabic Speakers


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