mourn·​ful | \ ˈmȯrn-fəl How to pronounce mournful (audio) \

Definition of mournful

1 : expressing sorrow : sorrowful
2 : full of sorrow : sad
3 : causing sorrow or melancholy : gloomy

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from mournful

mournfully \ ˈmȯrn-​fə-​lē How to pronounce mournfully (audio) \ adverb
mournfulness noun

Examples of mournful in a Sentence

she had such a mournful expression that someone teasingly asked if her dog had died the mournful survivors of the disaster were faced with the grim task of burying the dead
Recent Examples on the Web At 39, Izidor is an elegant, wiry man with mournful eyes. Melissa Fay Greene, The Atlantic, "Can an Unloved Child Learn to Love?," 18 June 2020 On June 11th, an angry and mournful letter signed by hundreds of graduates of West Point—spanning from the Class of 1948 to the Class of 2019—was posted on Medium. Robin Wright, The New Yorker, "Trump’s Vacuous West Point Address and the Revolt Against It," 15 June 2020 The 24-note tune is the mournful tribute played at U.S. military bases each night and at every military funeral. David Taylor, Houston Chronicle, "Crosby band students support troops on Memorial Day with ‘Taps’ project," 13 June 2020 The protests have ranged in scale and tenor, from a mournful gathering of thousands who lay in silence on the Burnside Bridge, to clashes with police met with tear gas and stun grenades. oregonlive, "6th night of protests over George Floyd killing underway in downtown, SE Portland (live updates)," 3 June 2020 Contemplate the intricate structure of a meadow larkspur flower and listen for the calls of ravens and the mournful bellows of domestic cattle that congregate near water holes situated along the road. Mare Czinar, azcentral, "You'll see summer wildflowers on this Coconino National Forest hike. Here's how to do it," 29 May 2020 These are the most mournful times many of us have ever known, which makes our inability to mourn together frustratingly ironic. cleveland, "We should mourn how the pandemic has complicated mourning," 25 Apr. 2020 The bold and beautiful musicals of Jacques Demy have proven to be a comfort, both the swinging and groovy The Young Girls of Rochefort and the jazzy yet mournful The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. Tyler Coates, Wired, "The Best Distraction From News and Social Media? Foreign Films," 5 May 2020 The Vibe All is not mournful in a suburb where funeral processions crawl along every day but Sunday, and where Mother’s Day, in particular, brings a wave of cemetery visitors, bouquets in hand. Jay Levin, New York Times, "North Arlington, N.J.: A Quiet Suburb Close to New York City," 25 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mournful.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of mournful

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about mournful

Time Traveler for mournful

Time Traveler

The first known use of mournful was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for mournful

Last Updated

25 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Mournful.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for mournful


How to pronounce mournful (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of mournful

: full of sorrow : very sad


mourn·​ful | \ ˈmȯrn-fəl How to pronounce mournful (audio) \

Kids Definition of mournful

1 : full of sorrow or sadness a mournful face
2 : causing sorrow mournful news

Other Words from mournful

mournfully \ -​fə-​lē \ adverb spoke mournfully

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on mournful

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for mournful

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with mournful

Spanish Central: Translation of mournful

Nglish: Translation of mournful for Spanish Speakers

Comments on mournful

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A More Exception(al) Quiz

  • hot dog  hot dog  hot dog  hot dog cat
  • Which of the following words is not a synonym for ‘a young person’?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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