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

Other Words from mournful

mournfully \ ˈmȯrn-​fə-​lē How to pronounce mournful (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 The founder of a Michigan salsa empire, a member of the last Detroit Lions championship team, the head of Detroit's Better Made potato chip company and the man who played Bozo the Clown also died in a year that was uncommonly mournful. Brendel Hightower, Detroit Free Press, 1 Jan. 2022 Our music was danceable but also noticeably mournful — the Cure, Depeche Mode, Morrissey and his band the Smiths. Washington Post, 13 Dec. 2021 From somewhere, the mournful strains of a harmonica drifted through the other music. David James, Anchorage Daily News, 2 Jan. 2022 What kept me going primarily was Tennant’s interpretation of Fogg as a mournful man characterized by his abiding sadness. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 31 Dec. 2021 Similarly, her voice doesn’t bother with the familiar mournful trappings of most protest singers — listening to her curt, firm delivery is more likely to elicit exasperation with the entire human endeavor than a desire to reform it. Joe Lynch, Billboard, 29 Dec. 2021 Violinist Pete Polansky accompanied Ruse with a mournful Irish melody, while Ruse expressed the heaviness and lightness of our memories with stomping footwork and then gentle, swaying arms. San Diego Union-Tribune, 26 Dec. 2021 Gone too are the dream sequences that bolstered the play’s mournful tenor and provided much of its exposition. New York Times, 7 Dec. 2021 Pythia is a vision, and Kendall is committed, but the camera stays close on Icesis, who sells all the drama and the heartbreak with her face, exaggerated false lashes cast to the ground like mournful spiders. Rebecca Alter, Vulture, 18 Dec. 2021

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near mournful

mourners' bench



See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for mournful

Last Updated

21 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Mournful.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

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

More from Merriam-Webster on mournful

Nglish: Translation of mournful for Spanish Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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