mourn·​ful ˈmȯrn-fəl How to pronounce mournful (audio)
: expressing sorrow : sorrowful
: full of sorrow : sad
: causing sorrow or melancholy : gloomy
mournfully 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 Then the mournful hits keep coming, as pointed segues. Chris Willman, Variety, 7 Apr. 2024 Arthur is too lost in his mournful reveries, his futile longing for Beniamina, to care much about the consequences. Justin Chang, The New Yorker, 28 Mar. 2024 The sites are angry and mournful: their invocations of peace, justice, and freedom are not banal. Doreen St. Félix, The New Yorker, 25 Mar. 2024 The exhilarating recap of the Voice’s ascendancy — the story of the Village newspaper that could — takes a mournful turn as witnesses of the wreckage offer their differing autopsies of a storied alternative weekly’s destruction. Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times, 19 Mar. 2024 Her magically vibrant and simultaneously mournful and vulnerable painting expresses the dualism at the heart of her vision — and perhaps at the heart of existence itself. Washington Post, 22 Feb. 2024 None of them, though, seem likely to eclipse its current mournful status. Longreads, 26 Jan. 2024 The music never gets very loud or very soft, fast, or high: The mood is politely mournful, the pace a frequently funereal trudge. An Epic Set, Vulture, 16 Jan. 2024 There was something that came across in the yearning and the mournful feeling that imbues a lot of Brian Wilson’s music. Andy Greene, Rolling Stone, 19 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'mournful.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near mournful

Cite this Entry

“Mournful.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


mourn·​ful ˈmō(ə)rn-fəl How to pronounce mournful (audio)
: expressing or full of sorrow : sorrowful
a mournful face
: causing sorrow
a mournful story
mournfully adverb
mournfulness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on mournful

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