mourn·​ing | \ ˈmȯr-niŋ How to pronounce mourning (audio) \

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 People are seeing themselves on the screen in this father’s struggle to understanding his son and the mourning. John Benson, cleveland, "‘Tu Me Manques’ filmmaker discusses transformative movie about LGBTQ+ suicide," 6 May 2021 The other family's mourning was more fresh: The family of Daunte Wright, the 20-year-old shot and killed Sunday afternoon by a Brooklyn Center police officer. Reid Forgrave And Stephen Montemayor, Star Tribune, "Connected by police encounter deaths, Floyd and Wright families embrace in public sorrow," 13 Apr. 2021 The mourning for so many Asian lives lost is all the same. Kristina Davis, San Diego Union-Tribune, "For San Diego’s Asian community, Georgia shootings compound a year of pandemic hate," 18 Mar. 2021 To show that mourning is not a detour on a path to healing. Washington Post, "The ‘Commander in Grief’ steps up to the microphone," 12 Mar. 2021 Most who have died during the past year were not celebrities like Ginsburg, of course, but the mourning of ordinary people has also taken new shapes. Asaf Shalev,, "Jews in mourning finding unexpected comfort in virtual minyans," 3 Mar. 2021 The mourning was amplified by the collective grief over the loss of an entire community, where almost all the men and older boys were killed. New York Times, "Years After a Massacre, Yazidis Finally Bury Their Loved Ones," 7 Feb. 2021 Queen Elizabeth did not shy away from acknowledging the great mourning experienced this year. David Oliver, USA TODAY, "Queen Elizabeth II delivers hopeful Christmas message about pandemic: 'You are not alone'," 26 Dec. 2020 These images resonate in a year overflowing with eulogies for hundreds of thousands of American dead, disproportionately Black, at a time when public mourning is itself deadly and, all the while, Americans wrestle with the country’s past and future. Syreeta Mcfadden, The Atlantic, "The Artifacts of Bygone Lives," 12 Dec. 2020

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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Time Traveler for mourning

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for mourning

Last Updated

10 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Mourning.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce mourning (audio) \

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

Comments on mourning

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