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

The algorithms of social media can be thoughtless in a time of mourning, provoking painful emotions if they aren’t kept in check. Kim Komando, Fox News, "Bitcoin crashing, Netflix offline and more: Tech Q&A," 22 Sep. 2018 The moments the younger generation has known when people poured out into the streets have been times of mourning, notably after the November 2015 terrorist attacks. Laurent Dubois, The Atlantic, "France’s Ghosts Return for the World Cup," 14 July 2018 Hana’s grief over her father’s death earlier in the war; Caravaggio’s mourning for his lost vocation; Singh’s terrifying exploits with the bomb squad; the nameless patient’s pride in his memories of love. New York Times, "Notes From the Book Review Archives," 8 June 2018 Turkey declared three days of official mourning, lowering flags to half-staff in a salute to slain Palestinians. Hana Salah,, "A baby girl dies in the haze of Gaza," 16 May 2018 This fall, Mount Auburn will host Death Salon, a festival of alternative approaches to death and mourning, including lectures and a demonstration of green burial. David Sloane,, "Is the cemetery dead?," 12 May 2018 Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili announced that June 15 would be a day of mourning, and zoo authorities have been begging residents not to kill the animals as rescue efforts are still ongoing. Diana Bruk, Country Living, "10 Heartbreaking Photos from the Tbilisi Flood," 15 June 2015 National mourning Multiple reports suggest the Queen's death will lead to a 12-day period of national mourning in Britain. Katie Frost, Town & Country, "What Will Happen When Queen Elizabeth II Dies?," 25 Mar. 2019 For Samantha, the people who stuck around to support her mourning long after her brother’s death really did make the biggest difference. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "7 Things to Say When a Friend’s Loved One Dies by Suicide (and 3 to Avoid)," 5 Feb. 2019

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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Statistics for mourning

Last Updated

16 May 2019

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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 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

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More from Merriam-Webster on mourning

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with mourning

Spanish Central: Translation of mourning

Nglish: Translation of mourning for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of mourning for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about mourning

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).


a sum of money that is sent as a payment

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