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.
Recent Examples on the Web But on this evening, the mourning was for the end of Roe v. Wade. Niraj Warikoo, Detroit Free Press, 30 June 2022 But on this side of Buffalo, health care is scarce, death arrives sooner — and neighbors have their own mourning rituals. New York Times, 28 May 2022 Parts of religious mourning rituals incorporate elements science has recently found to reduce grief. David Desteno, Wired, 14 Sep. 2021 Millennia in the making, Jewish mourning rituals are among the most foundational aspects of the religion. Asaf Shalev,, 3 Mar. 2021 That’s why all human communities have developed mourning rituals, which give us a concrete way to express our grief. Dan Ariely, WSJ, 1 Oct. 2020 The surge comes weeks after mass gatherings took place across the country to mark an annual religious holiday, despite efforts by officials to encourage people to carry out the mourning rituals at home. Golnar Motevalli,, 16 Sep. 2020 Hundreds mourned his death during his funeral service Wednesday, which was declared a citywide day of mourning after days of protests over his death. Editors, USA TODAY, 15 July 2022 On June 24, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, prompting virtually every university to declare a day of mourning — for women’s autonomy, not for the millions of innocent children who have been aborted. Abigail Anthony, National Review, 10 July 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of mourning

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Learn More About mourning

Time Traveler for mourning

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near mourning



mourning bride

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for mourning

Last Updated

2 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Mourning.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for mourning


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


Test Your Vocabulary

Odd Habits and Quirks

  • image1926873504
  • Which of the following best describes an easily irritated person?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!