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 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 Then, in the twilight, an adult wolf lets out a long, mournful howl that seems to hang in the air for several moments until the rest of the pack joins in. Morgan Heim, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Wolf That Discovered California," 16 Mar. 2021 For that last line, her voice drops to a mournful whisper, each ripple and crack suffused with the sting of betrayal. Los Angeles Times, "How did ‘Drivers License’ become the song of 2021? By exulting in the power of teen-girl melodrama," 24 Feb. 2021 Over the years, the details of that mournful day were carefully doled out so as to not make the parents relive a pain and loss that never truly went away. oregonlive, "In death, two lives are intertwined in a Portland cemetery: Tom Hallman at large," 23 Feb. 2021 Or does its mournful-serious aesthetic forbid those villains from appearing? Darren Franich,, "Superman & Lois premiere recap: Welcome home, Smallville," 24 Feb. 2021 The rendition opens with mournful pedal steel and piano, as opposed to the original version’s drum intro. Angie Martoccio, Rolling Stone, "Bright Eyes Take on Vic Chestnutt’s Heart-Wrenching ‘Flirted With You All My Life’," 24 Feb. 2021 My ears fill up with the mournful sound of the courting owls, my eyes fill up with moonlight and bright snow. Laurie Hertzel, Star Tribune, "The Puppy Chronicles: Long winter walks with Angus are filled with peace and hooting owls," 29 Jan. 2021 Young’s music, richly orchestrated for string quintet, piano and oboe, keenly highlights the mournful situation and its awkwardness. Matthew J. Palm,, "New opera poignantly puts life in death | Review," 20 Feb. 2021 Buried by the Bernards is not a show that considers death with solemn, mournful silence. Kathryn Vanarendonk, Vulture, "Is Now the Worst Time for Buried by the Bernards? Or Is It the Best Time?," 12 Feb. 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.

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First Known Use of mournful

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for mournful

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for mournful

Last Updated

22 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Mournful.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Apr. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on mournful

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for mournful

Nglish: Translation of mournful for Spanish Speakers

Comments on mournful

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