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

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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

While Dalton is mournful and beaten, Tate is all youthful, luminous hope. Barbara Vandenburgh, azcentral, "Review: Quentin Tarantino gets personal in bittersweet ‘Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood’," 24 July 2019 The melody was both mournful and urgent, like a funeral song for someone not quite dead. National Geographic, "In Corsica, on a quest for beautiful harmony," 24 July 2019 The crowd at the park moves slowly along the panorama, savoring every detail as a mournful melody of flutes and drums issues from somewhere in the rafters. Jacob Mikanowski, Harper's magazine, "The Call of the Drums," 21 July 2019 Things kicked off this morning, and the game has a vibe that’s both festive and mournful. Andrew Webster, The Verge, "Splatoon 2’s final splatfest starts today, marking the end of an era," 18 July 2019 One Vindicator journalist told me it would be telling to have a show of hands at the mournful community meeting: How many of the bereft were actual subscribers? Margaret Sullivan, Washington Post, "‘Democracy . . . is about to die in Youngstown’ with closing of the local newspaper," 7 July 2019 As with Conrad’s other show, the lovely and mournful Patriot, Perpetual Grace LTD is worth watching less for its plot — which is fun and twisty but also not exactly anything new — and much more for its overall vibe. Emily Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "Perpetual Grace LTD is worth subscribing to yet another streaming service for," 21 June 2019 In her emotional telling of the story, there was a sense of grief over some innocence that was lost and her clothes took on a mournful tone. Robin Givhan, Washington Post, "Kamala Harris wore black. That was both unremarkable and theatrically powerful.," 28 June 2019 The uncanny little boy; the charismatic, slightly mournful young man; the shape-shifting child-man-woman-cyborg-extraterrestrial. Margo Jefferson, Harper's magazine, "Lost Boy," 24 June 2019

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.

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First Known Use of mournful

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for mournful

Last Updated

7 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for mournful

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

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More Definitions for mournful



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

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More from Merriam-Webster on mournful

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with mournful

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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).


to move or obtain by small maneuvers

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