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 If the game ends in defeat, the block grows quiet and mournful. Sam Whiting,, "Living among the 49ers faithful on one short block of the Mission," 30 Jan. 2020 Monday’s day-after coverage was better, steadily mournful and thoughtful, even if the news still didn’t seem quite real. Chad Finn,, "How did the media report Kobe Bryant’s death? With confusion and misinformation, to start," 28 Jan. 2020 Ken Starr at no point in this, dramatic at times, mournful opening explained in any factual or legal way what's different. TheWeek, "MSNBC's Ari Melber: 'We just watched Ken Starr punch himself in the face'," 28 Jan. 2020 High-concept space films have been known to perform powerfully in China, but the mournful mood and somewhat slow pacing of Brady Grey's artful epic could test the market's patience. Patrick Brzeski, The Hollywood Reporter, "China Box Office: 'Frozen 2' Climbs Toward $100M, 'Knives Out' Nabs $13.5M," 2 Dec. 2019 Expect, by turns, orgiastic, mournful, darkly funny and relentlessly compelling sets. John Wenzel, The Know, "The best New Year’s Eve 2019 live music to see in Denver and beyond," 19 Dec. 2019 The overall ambience is commensurate with its price, although two-tone touches throughout the cabin liven the mournful black mood. Larry Printz,, "The least popular car in America is practical and affordable. So why isn’t it selling?," 6 Dec. 2019 The women appear in vibrant colors, with unique features — a bob haircut, lush lips, narrow nose, mournful eyes. Los Angeles Times, "A Texas Ranger got a prolific serial killer to talk. This is how," 26 Sep. 2019 The subject of Gates and Allen's deteriorating relationship has been the subject of much speculation, and Guggenheim's portrayal of it is both intriguing and mournful given Allen's death in 2018. Aric Jenkins, Fortune, "The Second Episode of the Bill Gates Netflix Documentary Is the One to Watch," 20 Sep. 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.

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

6 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Mournful.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Feb. 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

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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!