mo·​rose | \ mə-ˈrōs How to pronounce morose (audio) , mȯ- \

Definition of morose

1 : having a sullen and gloomy disposition
2 : marked by or expressive of gloom

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Other Words from morose

morosely adverb
moroseness noun
morosity \ mə-​ˈrä-​sə-​tē How to pronounce morose (audio) , mȯ-​ \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for morose

sullen, glum, morose, surly, sulky, crabbed, saturnine, gloomy mean showing a forbidding or disagreeable mood. sullen implies a silent ill humor and a refusal to be sociable. remained sullen amid the festivities glum suggests a silent dispiritedness. a glum candidate left to ponder a stunning defeat morose adds to glum an element of bitterness or misanthropy. morose job seekers who are inured to rejection surly implies gruffness and sullenness of speech or manner. a typical surly teenager sulky suggests childish resentment expressed in peevish sullenness. grew sulky after every spat crabbed applies to a forbidding morose harshness of manner. the school's notoriously crabbed headmaster saturnine describes a heavy forbidding aspect or suggests a bitter disposition. a saturnine cynic always finding fault gloomy implies a depression in mood making for seeming sullenness or glumness. a gloomy mood ushered in by bad news

Examples of morose in a Sentence

She thought of the bootlegger at home—a raddled, skinny old man, morose and suspicious. He sat on his front step with a shotgun on Halloween night. — Alice Munro, Runaway, 2004 We have little finished footage to go by, but enough to give us pause: an exquisite clip of Rochefort, sitting with a book in the half-darkness, his eyes wet, gleaming, and morose. — Anthony Lane, New Yorker, 3 Feb. 2003 I have never known if Momma sent for us, or if the St. Louis family just got fed up with my grim presence. There is nothing more appalling than a constantly morose child. — Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, 1969 He became morose and withdrawn and would not talk to anyone. those morose job seekers who have grown accustomed to rejection
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Recent Examples on the Web Campus was quiet and morose, the silences quivering with early-term nerves. New York Times, 2 Feb. 2021 Even as tech optimism is obvious, sentiment in much of the rest of the market remains morose. James Mackintosh, WSJ, 6 Sep. 2020 The sound of the Weeknd’s smash is not as morose as its accidentally timely themes might suggest. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, 1 Apr. 2020 There’s a dismissive sourness here, though, too morose for satire. Darren Franich,, 20 Nov. 2019 Billie poured herself into the emotions of every syllable, doing her best to let the morose piano track swell and fill the arena. Chris Payne, Billboard, 26 Jan. 2020 Richard Jewell, with its streamlined perspective on these events and deeply symbolic treatment of its characters, can be construed as a religious text as much as a narrative one, morose with meaning and full of wrath. Isaac Feldberg, Fortune, 13 Dec. 2019 Despite the cemetery's name, many of the graves' poems are downright morose. Rick Steves, USA TODAY, 13 Nov. 2019 The subtext of spousal abuse, coupled with a tragic fate that befalls one of the store’s workers, lends the film, by Thomas Stuber, a melancholy tone bordering on the morose. Michael O'sullivan, Twin Cities, 18 July 2019

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

1565, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for morose

Latin morosus, literally, capricious, from mor-, mos will

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Cite this Entry

“Morose.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for morose



English Language Learners Definition of morose

of a person : very serious, unhappy, and quiet
: very sad or unhappy


mo·​rose | \ mə-ˈrōs How to pronounce morose (audio) , mȯ- \

Kids Definition of morose

: very serious, unhappy, and quiet She became morose and spoke to no one.


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