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

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 Trudging along to a slow, mournful song, more than a thousand dancers in elaborate costumes fill the streets for the Bolivian Carnival of Oruro. Rachel Fobar, National Geographic, "Endangered armadillos are being turned into carnival rattles," 22 Feb. 2019 Wray’s diary entries, along with the adoring love letters Riskin wrote her when he was engaged in his war work, constitute the raw, mournful heart of their daughter’s touching memoir. Scott Eyman, WSJ, "‘Fay Wray and Robert Riskin’ Review: Love Lines," 22 Feb. 2019 The Chieftains & Sinead O'Connor Sinead O’Connor lent her voice for a mournful rendition of the traditional Irish ballad with The Chieftains. Selena Barrientos, Good Housekeeping, "20 Best Irish Songs to Help You Celebrate St. Patrick's Day," 13 Feb. 2019 That tactic failed, at first — Trump staffers refused to allow him in, and Fintiklis played a mournful tune in the lobby in protest. Washington Post, "The Trump Panama hotel showdown appears to end, and the Trump name is coming down," 5 Mar. 2018 Here, The Ivory Game changes from a mournful nature doc to shaky cam action film, as African rangers chase sounds in the night and investigators record video of some of the most dangerous people on Earth—which almost goes terribly wrong. Janet Fang, Popular Mechanics, "New Netflix Doc Walks the Front Lines of the War to Save Elephants," 11 Nov. 2016 The recent fires in California will get a mournful nod during the concurrent Faena Festival. Kelly Crow, WSJ, "At Miami’s Art Fairs, a Somber Mood Sets In," 1 Dec. 2018

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

10 Jul 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 complain fretfully

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