mourn·ing | \ ˈmȯr-niŋ \

Definition of mourning 

1 : the act of sorrowing She is still in mourning for her dead husband.

2a : an outward sign (such as black clothes or an armband) of grief for a person's death lots of people there, and only one man in full mourning —Arnold Bennett

b : a period of time during which signs of grief are shown after a long mourning, resume their ordinary dresses —Henry Reed

Examples of mourning in a Sentence

a day of national mourning She is still in mourning for her dead husband. The whole town was in mourning. a period of deep mourning His widow was dressed in mourning.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The reverend who leads the local church, locked in perpetual mourning after an accident took the lives of four local teens, instills that cutting edge dancing and music are unlawful. Karie Angell Luc,, "Wilmette's high energy 'Footloose' production shares message of empowering teens," 12 July 2018 Church bells sounded in the distance, a reminder of the unlikely setting for a Jewish mourning ritual, along with the monks in black hooded robes among the minyan. Emanuella Grinberg, Smithsonian, "When a Bavarian Monastery Provided a Home to Jewish Refugees," 11 July 2018 Photo: Archives Nationales de France Laure de Sade photographed in mourning following the suicide of Archduke Rudolf in January 1889. Moira Hodgson, WSJ, "‘Proust’s Duchess’ Review: The Guermantes Trio," 5 July 2018 In this hour of meritless mourning, realize that James and George aren’t the only relevant players in the NBA. Marcus Hayes,, "Sixers weren't ready for LeBron James or Paul George | Marcus Hayes," 4 July 2018 Hartnell cleverly suggested that instead of funereal black, the dozens of ensembles should be made in tones of white, which also had a precedent for royal mourning. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, "The Royal Bride Who Wore Pink," 18 May 2018 In Gaza, on May 14, the eve of the national day of mourning for the Palestinian catastrophe, or nakba, of 1948, tens of thousands of Palestinians plan to take part in what has been named The Great March of Return. Nathan Thrall, Time, "How the Idea of Return Has Shaped the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict for 70 Years," 14 May 2018 According to Sports Illustrated, Mastro will have a three-year contract and had made his decision earlier this week, but delayed his official move out of respect for the mourning following the death of WSU quarterback Tyler Hilinski. Andrew Greif,, "Oregon Ducks hire Washington State's Jim Mastro to coach running backs," 20 Jan. 2018 For instance, someone in mourning is likely to have intense dreams, and receiving a call from the dead is not an uncommon dream. Laura Yan, Popular Mechanics, "Do Humans Dream Of Smartphones?," 7 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mourning.' 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 mourning

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Phrases Related to mourning

go into mourning

Statistics for mourning

Last Updated

22 Aug 2018

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Time Traveler for mourning

The first known use of mourning was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for mourning



English Language Learners Definition of mourning

: the act of mourning for someone who has died

: great sadness felt because someone has died

: black clothing that is worn to show that you are mourning for someone who has died


mourn·ing | \ ˈmȯr-niŋ \

Kids Definition of mourning

1 : the act of feeling or expressing sorrow

2 : an outward sign (as black clothes or an arm band) of grief for a person's death

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Comments on mourning

What made you want to look up mourning? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the setting in which something occurs

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